FOLLOWUP: Nucor working ‘to mitigate the problem’ that’s caused recent booms

Management at the Nucor steel mill in northeast West Seattle says they’re “working … to mitigate the problem” that’s caused startling booms in recent days. The one reported here on Saturday evening, after hearing from readers, was such a jolt, some said, they didn’t think it was from the plant because they’d never felt anything like it. We talked this afternoon with Nucor’s environmental manager Patrick Jablonski. He explained that this can happen “when we add wet scrap metal into our furnace … I think we are particularly vulnerable to it because of our climate; it happens more often in the wintertime.” He said Nucor is “certainly not happy” about this, and is trying to find out why it’s happened repeatedly in recent days, so they can work “to mitigate the problem.” Jablonski also told WSB, “We’ve worked over the years to minimize it … As far as I know, we are the only mill that built a large canopy to keep the rain off the scrap in our scrapyard … We’ve developed additional procedures over the years.” But that doesn’t get all the rain – or snow, if the scrap was brought over the mountain passes – off the steel, and when the wet scrap metal goes into the furnace (which is on the north side of the main building), the evaporation happens quickly and loudly. No one was hurt, he added. Some commenters asked about contacting the plant in case of an incident; you can call the general number, 206-933-2222, around the clock – if it’s after-hours, security can get in touch with someone to check into it, Jablonski said.

8 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Nucor working 'to mitigate the problem' that's caused recent booms"

  • Steve January 11, 2018 (7:39 pm)

    Lived across the street from the plant for years. You would get a nice boom once every 2 weeks now it’s 2-4 times a day. I qualify anything significant as window rattlers. If they took these steps I don’t know how they could make it worse, but they did.

  • dsa January 12, 2018 (12:32 am)

    Reading Nucor’s statement and Steve’s comment it sounds to me that Nucor made a change of some sort that has either caused more wet product getting into the furnace, such as loading or storing sorting techniques or they have removed a structural barrier that provided sound abatement.

  • Luke January 12, 2018 (9:25 pm)

    I don’t understand renting/buying next to a steel mill and complaining about the noise made at said steel mill. 

    • A January 15, 2018 (8:56 am)

      If you read the post, some people are more than 1/2 a mile away, we have lived in West Seattle for +10 years, this is a new problem.

  • NativetoSeattle January 13, 2018 (8:33 pm)

    I have noticed huge improvements since they built the canopy. The last week I knew something was up. 

    Nucor has always been great about responding to concerns and inquiries, and from my perspective worked to be a good neighbor. 

  • HotCoffee January 28, 2018 (9:13 pm)

    Another big boom just shook the house again tonight, around 2100. Definitely bigger and more frequent than in the last six years. How can an explosion that big NOT be a problem for their furnace or workers??  Worry about the ground instability on the hillsides, too … 

    • Tn January 28, 2018 (9:36 pm)

      Heard it too, shook our windows

  • NativeToSeattle January 28, 2018 (9:24 pm)

    Yes- the boom tonight was pretty intense. Thank God it wasn’t at 3 AM. There have been some smaller rumblings, but luckily only the one big boom tonight. 

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