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Steel firm fined $215,000 for environmental offence

Steel firm fined $215,000 for environmental offence

HAMILTON, ONT. — Steel manufacturing company ArcelorMittal has been fined $215,000, along with a victim surcharge of $53,750, for a 2018 offence where the company permitted an emission for six consecutive minutes obstructing the passage of light by 20 per cent or more.

ArcelorMittal Canada Inc. and ArcelorMittal Dofasco MP Inc. make up a general Ontario partnership known as ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P., which owns a steel making facility located on Burlington Street East in Hamilton.

The site contains several business units including one referred to as the coke and ironmaking facility and includes a blast furnace used to extract iron from iron ore. This process also uses coke and limestone which is meant to be consumed in the furnace.

On July 13, 2018 ArcelorMittal Dofasco MP Inc. contacted Ontario’s ministry of environment, conservation and parks to report an emission from one of their blast furnaces and subsequently provided updates to the ministry as the event went from 8:04 a.m. to 9:44 a.m. The opacity of the light at that time varied from light to dense and peaked at 70 per cent to 100 per cent opacity.

Three witnesses within the community observed emissions from the site from various locations and provided statements consistent with the company’s reports, a government release stated.

The ministry’s Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid one charge which resulted in one conviction. ArcelorMittal has been given 90 days to pay the fine.

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