Management of discharged chemical substances
Comprehensive management of discharge
Nippon Steel appropriately manages and tries to improve the production, handling, and discharge or disposal of chemical substances in accordance with the PRTR ActAn abbreviated name of the Act on Confirmation, etc., of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof. PRTR stands for Pollutant Release and Transfer Register., Chemical Substance Control LawAn abbreviation of the Law Concerning the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture of Chemical Substances., and other laws concerning the management of chemical substances as well as the procedures employed. According to the targets of the PRTR Act, we thoroughly manage the material balance, which includes the amount of chemical substances handled, the amount discharged to the environment, and disposable amount. Similarly, we take care in managing the Volatile organic compounds (VOC)Organic chemical compounds emitted into the atmosphere in the form of gases, which are considered to be the source of undesirable airborne particles and photochemical oxidants, which became subject to control under the Air Pollution Control Act of 2004, as amended., which are said to cause photochemical oxidants and suspended particulate matter. In complying with the Chemical Substance Control Law, we identify and provide notification of the amounts of production and sales of the targeted chemical substances.
Nippon Steel also took the lead to promote use of alternatives to steelmaking materials and equipment that contain hazardous materials such polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and mercury. We have been replacing or disposing of possibly risky parts and materials, according to safe handling standards.
Management of discharged based on the PRTR Act
In 1999, two years before the enforcement of the PRTR Act, Nippon Steel began surveying chemical substances according to the voluntary control manual developed by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF). At present, in compliance with the PRTR Act, we monitor 462 chemical substances and try to control their emission and improve the way we manage it. In fiscal 2017, there were 52 target substances for notification and the emission amount was 429 tons into the atmosphere and 29 tons to public water areas, while the disposal amount of mostly manganese, chrome, other metals, and their compounds to outside of the steelworks was 6,317 tons in aggregate.
Every year, data is compiled by each steelworks and experience in carrying out reduction measures is shared with other steelworks. In addition, the compiled results are disclosed on our website.
We have similarly been working at reducing VOCs. In fiscal 2009, the 30% reduction target relative to fiscal 2000 was achieved but we have since then continued efforts for further reduction.
Voluntary priority control of select chemical substances
Some of our facilities, such as sintering facilities and incineration facilities, are a source of emissions of dioxin into the atmosphere. All these facilities have satisfied the emission concentration standard and have achieved the voluntary reduction target, based on the JISF guidelines, relative to fiscal 1997 by a large margin. Since then low emission levels have been maintained.
Benzene, tetrachloroethylene, dichloromethane
We developed a voluntary reduction plan of hazardous air pollutants specified in the environmental standard, with the exception of trichloroethylene which we did not handle. As a result of our undertaking, we have already reached the targets for all three pollutants and have maintained the target levels.
Appropriate treatment of industrial waste
In order to appropriately handle industrial waste generated in our business activities, we thoroughly carry out (1) management by sorting industrial waste depending on the status of its occurrence, (2) appropriate selection and continuous management of collectors, transporters, and disposal contractors, and (3) appropriate management of Manifests (industrial waste management documentation).
In order to enhance compliance in waste treatment by appropriately managing the Manifests, all Nippon Steel steelworks and offices have adopted the e-Manifest system and fully utilize it for waste management.
We also evaluate collectors, transporters, and disposal contractors based on our internal rules and conduct on-site inspections at pre-determined frequency, so as to continuously and appropriately ensure proper management.