WCI Steel, Inc. will spend $29.3 million to install a new baghouse system at its Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) to reduce environmental emissions and meet new federal air quality standards.
The new baghouse system, at the Warren, Ohio facility, will be located on the west end of the BOF, and is set to be operational in April of 2007.
WCI President Patrick G. Tatom said the baghouse investment reflects WCI's commitment to meeting environmental protection standards, noting the project will bring WCI's total spending on environmental projects and monitoring to more than $100 million since 2000.
The construction will not affect production, Tatom said. Once in operation, the BOF complex will have two separate baghouses. The new baghouse, which will have the capability to handle 800,000 cubic feet of air per minute, will be the more powerful of the two.
A baghouse is a fabric filter system that allows the removal of dust particles from gases produced during the steelmaking process in order to reduce the emissions of particulate matter to the air. Exhaust gases are drawn through extensive ductwork to the baghouse, where the dust is filtered out as the gas stream passes through the filters, or bags, before being exhausted to the air. The filtered dust particulates that accumulate on the fire-retardant bags are removed from the bags regularly and disposed of in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
The installation will allow WCI to meet the Maximum Achievable Control Technology standard for the iron and steel industry, which was established in May 2003 pursuant to the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. The Iron & Steel MACT calls for a reduction in air emissions by imposing more stringent emission limitations on new and existing major emission sources of so-called hazardous air pollutants and requiring that MACT technology -- in WCI's case, a new BOF baghouse system -- be installed to meet these limitations.