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Old Posted Nov 7, 2008, 9:19 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hamilton
Posts: 3,050
This adds to the mix:

U.S. Steel faces three charges

November 07, 2008
Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator

Stelco Inc., now operating as U.S. Steel Canada Inc., is charged with releasing illegally high levels of toxic dioxins and furans into the air over Hamilton last year.

It's also charged with discharging water toxic enough to kill fish into the harbour at about the same time.

It faces one count of air pollution and two of water pollution laid by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for Environmental Protection Act violations at the Hamilton Works.

One count alleges the sinter plant stack emitted illegal levels of dioxins and furans for about 10 days in late February and early March of 2007.

The other two allege cooling water discharged into Hamilton Harbour in February killed more fish than allowed in a standard test and the company failed to report the violation as soon as reasonably possible.

The water charges fall under Municipal-Industrial Strategy for Abatement regulations that require industries discharging persistent toxic substances into Ontario waterways to monitor themselves. They must demonstrate that their effluents are not toxic to rainbow trout and water fleas, used as indicator species for other aquatic life. Any incidents of non-compliance must be reported quickly to the ministry, first by phone, then by letter.

The ministry no longer issues news releases when it lays charges, but revealed its actions against the former Stelco plant in response to a Spectator request for information about heavy emissions from the coke oven battery Sept. 3.

It said the water charges were laid July 18 and the air charge on Aug. 28. The next court appearance on the air charge is Nov. 24. A pre-trial hearing on the water charges is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Jennifer Hall, the ministry's regional communications adviser, wrote in an e-mail: "As these matters are before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment on them any further at this time."

Trevor Harris, spokesperson for U.S. Steel Canada, said: "It would be inappropriate for me to comment on matters that took place under the previous management."

Hamilton Works has the only iron sintering furnace in Canada. In 2006, Stelco said it was used to fuse 600,000 tonnes a year of fine, iron-rich, dust into fist-sized chunks that could be fed into the blast furnace, which produces molten iron used to make steel.

Lynda Lukasik of Environment Hamilton, who was on a panel that helped set Canada-wide standards for sinter plant emissions, said yesterday she believed the Hamilton plant had been shut down for more than a year.
Since USS doesn't have GreenShift to use as a scapegoat, perhaps they will use this as their excuse for closing up shop in Hamilton...
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