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Environmental Code of Practice for Integrated Steel Mills

Summary

Various substances that are released, produced, or used by the steel manufacturing sector have been declared toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) (For further information: CEPA, 1999). A multi-stakeholder Strategic Options Process (SOP) was launched in April 1995 to address the management of these substances. The SOP culminated in the development of a Strategic Options Report (SOR) in December 1997.

The SOR recommended among other things that Environmental Codes of Practice be developed for integrated steel mills. The integrated mills segment of the steel manufacturing sector includes all facilities that use coal and iron ore or agglomerated iron ore as raw materials to produce primary steel products. Primary steel production processes include iron sintering, cokemaking, iron and steelmaking, hot and cold forming, coating operations, and associated production processes and facilities. They do not include pipe or tube making or steel fabricating facilities. There are currently four integrated steel mills in Canada.

This Code of Practice outlines environmental concerns and alternative methods, technologies, designs, and procedures that will minimize the adverse environmental effects associated with integrated steel mills. Simplified flowsheets are presented in Figures S.1 and S.2 showing the major feeds to and environmental releases from integrated steel mills. Operational activities addressed in the Code include:

  • raw materials handling and storage;
  • cokemaking;
  • sintering;
  • ironmaking;
  • steelmaking;
  • continuous casting;
  • hot forming;
  • cold forming;
  • pickling and cleaning; and
  • coating.

Figure S.1 Coke and Iron Production Simplified Flowsheet

Coke and Iron Production Simplified Flowsheet
Click the image to view full size version.

Figure S.2 Integrated Plant Steelmaking Simplified Flowsheet

Integrated Plant Steelmaking Simplified Flowsheet
Click the image to view full size version.

The Code advances recommendations aimed at preserving and enhancing the quality of the environment that is affected by these mills. Environmental performance standards are included for atmospheric emissions, water and wastewater, waste management, and environmental management practices. These recommended practices may be used by the steel sector, regulatory agencies, and the general public as sources of technical and policy guidance in the development and implementation of site-specific environmental protection practices and requirements.

The overall objective of the Code is to identify minimum environmental performance standards for new integrated steel mills and to provide a set of environmental performance goals for existing mills to achieve through continual improvements over time. However, all municipal, provincial, and federal legal requirements must be met, and a commitment by companies to be consistent with Code recommendations does not remove obligations to comply with all regulatory requirements.

The Code was developed by Environment Canada in consultation with provincial environmental agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders. Federal, provincial, and international environmental guidelines and standards of relevance to the operation of integrated steel mills were considered in the development of Code recommendations, as were the environmental management practices recommended by various national and international organizations.

This Code of Practice will be adopted by Environment Canada and others as a guidance document that delineates appropriate environmental protection standards and practices for integrated steel mills. Some elements of the Code may be adopted under the Federal–Provincial/Territorial Environmental Harmonization Accord and associated sub-agreements such as Canada-Wide Standards. Some elements of the Code may be used in the development of initiatives or programs to achieve the objectives of cooperative agreements including the Canada-Ontario Agreement and St. Lawrence Vision 2000.

The Code may be adopted on a voluntary basis by individual steel sector corporations and facilities and by the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) and its members. It may be included as commitment to Code recommendations in Environmental Performance Agreements among Environment Canada, provincial environment departments, and steel companies or facilities. It may also be adopted in whole or in part by regulatory agencies. CSPA members who operate integrated mills have initiated a program to monitor Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and benzene emissions consistent with Code standards and audited by an independent third party.

The Code may be used for benchmarking best practices to achieve continual improvement in the environmental performance of integrated steel mills in Canada and other countries. Code recommendations may also be used as benchmark criteria for the conduct of audits aimed at assessing the environmental performance of sector facilities or companies.

A summary of the recommendations is presented in Table S.1. The full text of the recommendations, presented in Section 4, should be consulted for details.

Table S.1 Summary of Recommendation
NumberSubjectSummary of Recommendation
Atmospheric Emission Management
RI101Targets and Schedules for Release Reductions of PAHs and Benzene

PAH releases from coke ovens and coke by-product plants should be reduced in accordance with the following:

  1. to an industry production-based average of 13.2 g/tonne of coke produced in 2000;
  2. to a maximum for any coke oven battery of 9.8 g/tonne of coke produced in 2005;
  3. to a maximum for any coke oven battery of 8.2 g/tonne of coke produced in 2015 or later.

Benzene releases from coke ovens and coke by-product plants should be reduced in accordance with the following:

  1. to an industry production-based average of 120 g/tonne of coke produced in 2000;
  2. to a maximum of 71.7 g/tonne of coke produced in 2005;
  3. to a maximum of 62.7 g/tonne of coke produced in 2015 and later.
RI102Release Guidelines for Particulate Matter

Each facility should target on achieving the following emission guidelines for particulate matter after the emission control device:

  1. sinter plants: 50 mg/Nm³;
  2. blast furnaces: 50 mg/Nm³;
  3. basic oxygen furnaces: 50 mg/Nm³;
  4. electric arc furnaces: 20 mg/Nm³;
RI103Environmental Performance Indicators

Each facility should target on limiting particulate emissions in accordance with the following:

  1. sinter plants: less than 200 grams per tonne of sinter produced;
  2. blast furnaces: less than 100 grams per tonne of liquid iron produced;
  3. basic oxygen furnaces: less than 100 grams per tonne of raw steel produced;
  4. electric arc furnaces: less than 150 grams per tonne of raw steel produced.
RI104Collection of Furnace EmissionsAdequately sized facilities should be engineered and installed, and documented operating and maintenance procedures should be developed for the collection of emissions associated with: ironmaking, primary steelmaking, and secondary steelmaking.
RI105Control of Fugitive EmissionsAdequately sized facilities should be engineered and installed, and documented operating and maintenance procedures should be developed for the control of emissions associated with: ironmaking, primary steelmaking, and secondary steelmaking.
RI106Solvent DegreasingDocumented procedures for the control or elimination of chlorinated solvent emissions from degreasing operations should be developed and implemented in accordance with the multi-stakeholder Solvent Degreasing Strategic Options Report and the associated regulations that may be promulgated from time to time.
RI107Ambient Air Quality Monitoring

An ambient air quality monitoring program should be developed and implemented by each facility in consultation with the appropriate regulatory authorities. This program should include monitoring of particulate matter (total, PM10, and PM2.5), benzene, and PAHs, taking into account:

  1. the location of emission sources under the control of the facility operator; and
  2. local meteorological conditions.
Cokemaking: Coke Ovens
RI108Charging OperationsDocumented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of coke oven charging operations.
RI109Coke Oven DoorsDocumented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of emissions from coke oven doors.
RI110Topside Port LidsDocumented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of emissions from topside port lids.
RI111Offtake SystemsDocumented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of emissions from offtake system(s).
RI112Coke PushingDocumented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of emissions from coke pushing and coke transfer to the quench station.
RI113Coke Wet QuenchingDocumented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of atmospheric emissions and wastewater discharges from coke quenching.
RI114Bypass/
Bleeder Stacks
Documented procedures should be developed and implemented for the control of atmospheric emissions from coke oven gas flaring.
Cokemaking: Coke By-Product Plant
RI115Storage TanksThe recommendations advanced in the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s (CCME’s) Environmental Guidelines for Controlling Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from Aboveground Storage Tanks should be applied to light oil and wash oil storage tanks.
RI116Fugitive EmissionsThe recommendations advanced in the CCME’s Environmental Code of Practice for the Measurement and Control of Fugitive VOC Emissions from Equipment Leaks should be followed.
RI117Benzene Transfer OperationsA vapour collection system should be used to contain benzene vapours during the transfer of benzene-containing liquids to tank trucks or rail cars.
RI118Process Cooling WaterAll process cooling should be by the use of indirect cooling, with no water in contact with process liquids or gases unless properly treated prior to discharge.
RI119Open Trenches and SumpsAll process trenches and sumps should be enclosed and the vapours collected for treatment.
RI120Containment of Process Pumps and TanksAll process pumps and tanks should be installed on impervious pads with containment dykes and drainage to wastewater treatment facilities to contain spills.
Water and Wastewater Management
RI121Effluent Guidelines

All wastewater treatment facilities approved for construction and operation after the publication of this Code of Practice should be designed, constructed, and operated to achieve the following effluent quality prior to release to cooling water or to local receiving water body:

On a continuous basis:

pH
6.0-9.5

On a monthly average basis:

Total suspended solids (TSS)
30 mg/l
Chemical oxygen demand (COD)
200 mg/l
Oil and grease
10 mg/l
Cadmium
0.1 mg/l
Chromium (total)
0.5 mg/l
Lead
0.2 mg/l
Mercury
0.01 mg/l
Nickel (total)
0.5 mg/l
Zinc
0.5 mg/l
Toxicity
No more than 50% mortality in 100% effluent

Wastewater treatment facilities approved prior to the publication of this Code of Practice should be so operated that effluent quality is as close to satisfying the above-listed criteria as is practicably possible.

RI122Environmental Performance IndicatorEach facility should target on limiting total suspended solids discharges from wastewater to less than 100 grams per tonne of raw steel produced.
RI123Wastewater CollectionAll wastewater streams that exceed the effluent criteria should be directed to an approved treatment facility prior to discharge.
RI124Water Use/ReuseWater use should be minimized through the reuse or recycling of water and the cascading of cooling water and wastewater between production processes. Facilities should target on achieving 90% reuse of water.
RI125Wastewater Containment Sizing

Wastewater collection and containment facilities constructed after the publication of this Code of Practice should be designed to contain the maximum volume of liquid that could reasonably be expected to be in storage prior to any of the following events, and:

  1. the maximum volume of wastewater that would be generated during the time required to shut down wastewater generating processes, plus 50%;
  2. 110% of the volume that could enter the containment facility in the event of a leak or spill; or
  3. the accumulated precipitation from a 50-year return period, 24-hour precipitation event that is collected in an outdoor containment (e.g. rain that falls on the open surface or inside the containment berm).
RI126Environmental Effects MonitoringAn environmental effects monitoring program should be developed and implemented where appropriate by each facility in consultation with the appropriate regulatory authorities.
Waste Management
RI127Location and Construction of Waste Disposal Sites

Expansions to existing waste disposal sites and construction of new sites should be undertaken so as to ensure that:

  1. the site plan is updated to show clearly the location and dimensions of the new or expanded site;
  2. the perimeter of the disposal area is far enough away from all watercourses to prevent contamination by runoff, seepage, or fugitive emissions;
  3. the surface drainage from off-site areas is diverted around the disposal area;
  4. the expanded area is hidden from view by fences, berms, or buffer zones to the extent practicable; and
  5. the beneficial uses of the site after closure have been considered.
RI128Development of Solid Waste Disposal Sites

Solid waste disposal sites should be developed in accordance with the following practices:

  1. the disposal area should be developed in modules or cells;
  2. all wastes should be so placed that they have physical and chemical stability suitable for land reuse;
  3. contouring, capping, and reclamation of cells should be undertaken throughout the operating life of the site; and
  4. all disposal sites should be reclaimed for beneficial uses before final closure.
RI129Management of Waste Disposal Sites

All waste disposal sites should be managed in accordance with documented, site-specific waste management plans approved by the appropriate regulatory authority so that:

  1. solid, liquid, and hazardous wastes are disposed of only in facilities specifically designed, approved, and operated for that purpose;
  2. access to the site is controlled and disposal activities are supervised by trained personnel; and
  3. records are maintained of the types, approximate quantities, and point of origin of the wastes.
RI130Monitoring of Waste Disposal Sites

A groundwater monitoring program should be developed, to the extent that is feasible, for all waste disposal sites in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. a permanent system of appropriately located piezometers and wells should be provided;
  2. a program of pre-operational monitoring of groundwater regimes should be initiated;
  3. groundwater samples should be collected at least quarterly; and
  4. each groundwater sample should be analyzed for pH, total dissolved solids, and other appropriate (site-specific) parameters.
RI131Liquid Storage and ContainmentLiquid storage and containment facilities should be designed and constructed to meet the requirements of the appropriate standards, regulations, and guidelines of the pertinent regulatory agency.
RI132Reduction, Reuse, and RecyclingEach corporate entity responsible for the operation of an integrated steel mill should develop, implement, and maintain a reduction, reuse, and recycling program.
Best Environmental Management Practices
RI133Implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS)Each facility should develop, implement, and maintain an EMS that is consistent with the requirements of a recognized national standard such as ISO 14001.
RI134Environmental Policy StatementEach facility should develop and implement an environmental policy statement.
RI135Environmental AssessmentThe development of new facilities and changes to existing facilities that could significantly increase releases to the environment should be subjected to an internal environmental assessment process.
RI136Emergency PlanningEach facility should develop and implement an Emergency Plan aimed at ensuring that facility management meet all legal requirements in developing, maintaining, exercising, and reporting emergency preparedness and resource activities.
RI137Pollution Prevention PlanningEach facility should develop and implement a Pollution Prevention Plan aimed at avoiding or minimizing discharges to the environment.
RI138Decommis-sioning PlanningPlanning for decommissioning should begin in the design stage for new facilities and as early as possible in the operating stage for existing facilities. All site closures should be undertaken in accordance with the CCME’s National Guidelines for the Decommissioning of Industrial Sites.
RI139Environmental TrainingEach facility should establish and maintain procedures to identify its environmental training needs and ensure that all personnel whose work may create a significant impact upon the environment have received appropriate training.
RI140Environmental Facility InspectionEach facility should develop and implement an Environmental Inspection Plan.
RI141Monitoring and ReportingDocumented procedures for the monitoring and reporting of environmental performance data should be developed and implemented.
RI142Environmental AuditingEach facility should conduct periodic internal environmental audits throughout the operating life of the facility.
RI143Environmental Performance IndicatorsEach facility should develop a set of environmental performance indicators that provides an overall measure of the facility’s environmental performance.
RI144Life Cycle ManagementEach corporate entity should develop and implement a Life Cycle Management (LCM) Program aimed at minimizing the environmental burdens associated with the products used and produced by its steelmaking facilities over the product life cycle.
RI145Community Advisory PanelEach facility should establish a Community Advisory Panel to provide a forum for the review and discussion of facility operations, environmental concerns, emergency preparedness, community involvement, and other issues that the Panel may decide are important.