National Geographic : 1980 May
"Environmental activists? At Bethlehem Steel, about 1,000 of them help clean up the airand water:' Dr. David M. Anderson, Corporate Director, Environmental Affairs "The thousand people I'm talking about actively work at improving the environment. About four hundred of them--scientists, engineers and technicians - develop, design and operate Bethlehem Steel's environ mental control program. And about six hundred of them-in our plants, mines and shipyards -monitor, maintain and repair the hundreds of pollution control facilities Bethlehem has installed. We're proud of our accomplishments in cleaning up the air and water. We've come a long way since 1946, when Bethlehem began its formal environ mental control program. Today we're removing about 95 percent of the pollutants from our air emissions and water discharges. Innovative technology and a lot of money help. The equipment you see behind me is typical of the innovative technology needed to satisfy today's environmental standards. It's called a 'one-spot' coke pushing emission control car. And right now it's helping to solve a pollution-control problem that's plagued us for years: capturing and cleaning the emissions produced when coke is pushed from a coke oven. Our Bethlehem, Pa., plant was the first steel mill to operate this system. We're installing similar units at our coke ovens in Lackawanna, N.Y., and Sparrows Point, Md. Each of these units costs us more than $5 million' Bethlehem's commitment: to do what is necessary to protect public health. We've made substantial progress in controlling pollution, but we haven't finished the job. We've already spent $700 million for pollution control equip ment and we may have to spend several hundred million more in the years ahead. But we believe there's a limit. To require industry to "purify" the air and water beyond what is necessary to protect health does not make good economic or energy sense. A balance must be struck between an absolutely pure environment and a healthy environment, so that the economy of this nation has the opportunity to thrive. Our position is clearly explained in our Statement on Environmental Control. If you would like a copy, write: Public Affairs Dept., Rm. 476 MT, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem, PA 18016. Bethlehem B Coke, used in blast furnaces to produce iron, is made from coal baked in airtight ovens at temperaturesup to 2000 F The "one-spot" coke pushing emission control system is a mobile unit made up of a 33-foot-long coke receiving car and an 83-foot-long air pollution control car. As the coke is pushedfrom an oven into the receiving car, a high pressure hot-water ejector creates a vacuum and evacuates and cleans the gases during the push. Evacuation continues as the system transports the coke to the quenching tower. These captured gases are cleaned by the scrubbingsystem in the control car before they are released into the atmosphere.