EPA incorporated the characterization information provided by the Bureau of Mines
into section II.A of this document. Capacity to grind slag is addressed below in subsection
b. Comments opposing designation of GGBF slag. FHWA and the states opposed the
designation of GGBF slag for one or more of the following reasons. (1) GGBF slag and/or
cements blended with GGBF slag are not available. (2) There are concerns about the
performance of GGBF slag, and all technical concerns should be answered prior to EPA's
designation of an item. (3) Use of GGBF slag would compete with or replace coal fly ash.
(4) Designation will create a tremendous administrative burden on FHWA and state agencies
and may not create additional markets for, nor significantly increase, the usage of GGBF
(1) Availability. Several state agencies questioned the availability of GGBF slag. In
addition, the Bureau of Mines commented that there are only two companies with three
plants that process GGBF slag for use in cement. FHWA commented that blast furnace slag
granulators are located in four Eastern states: Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia.
FHWA further noted that most states that currently use GGBF slag cements are located
proximate to these four states. Other commenters questioned the availability of GGBF slag
in states west of the Mississippi River, particularly in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain
states. They also questioned whether GGBF slag or granulated blast furnace slag will be
available at competitive prices if shipped long distances.
Data provided by GGBF slag producers indicate that granulators currently are located
at four steel plants. These granulators are capable of producing approximately 1.95 million
tons of granulated slag. In 1994, approximately 60 percent of this capacity was used for the
production of ground granulated blast furnace slag. Thus, there is excess capacity that could
be used to supply granulated blast furnace slag for grinding into a component of cement or
EPA's Report to Congress on special wastes from mineral processing* indicates that
in the future, most primary iron producers in the U.S. are expected to modernize their blast
furnaces and install slag granulation facilities, resulting in greater availability of granulated
blast furnace slag that could be used in cement and concrete. The GGBF producers
commented that an additional five steel companies are considering the installation of
granulation capacity at locations in six states. These commenters also indicated that ten
cement manufacturers in nine states currently grind granulated blast furnace slag. Three
more companies located in three additional states might begin grinding granulated blast
furnace slag in 1995.
"Report to Congress on Special Wastes from Mineral Processing," Volume II:
Methods and Analyses, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste, July
1990, Chapter 8.