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Significant Impacts Of Iron Smelting Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1043 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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After having a clear idea about the project and its effects according to my considerations the following impacts are very important. The impacts are listed in the order of their importance:-


The air pollution that will be caused by the plants is the biggest issue to be considered. The coke making process involved is responsible for large amount of VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) and carbon monoxide emissions. Further the working of blast furnace and the processes of casting and rolling are responsible for significant releases of nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. The use of heavy diesel equipments, generators and vehicle movement will also contribute to air pollution. As the region experiences moderate winds the pollutants will be carried to the surrounding areas increasing the pollution to a large extent. It will adversely affect the local vegetation, surrounding grasslands and the native assai palm trees. The local temperature will also increase due to the industrial activity and decrease in vegetation. The greatest risk is on the local population which is already facing health problems and the cattle farming in the surrounding areas. The mitigation measures to be used for controlling the air pollution are not adequate for such a large project and require reconsideration. Classification of impact: LT, IR, D,(-), L and R.


The Pequia River is the main source of water for the local population for drinking, cooking and other recreational activities. The waste water generated from the plants have large amount of contaminants, that require effective removal and treatment before it is disposed into the water body. The water quality of the Piquia River will be affected by the disposal of high temperature waste water from the ovens containing large amount of chemical compounds discharged into it. The soil in the area is permeable and has good drainage properties. These characteristics will allow the flow of solid wastes dumped at a site to flow into the ground water and the river along with the rain water. Thus, contaminating the ground water and the river water. No proper measures have been observed in the plan for calculating the quantity of waste water that will be discharged into the river. Moreover, it is being assumed that the palm trees on the river are good purifiers but they won’t be affective if the pollution will be of such a large extent. Classification of impact: LT, IR, D, (-) and L.


The health problems caused by the iron smelting plant are inevitable. The emission of poisonous gases like nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, carbon monoxide etc poses a serious threat to the health of the people of Pequia. These gases can cause many problems like asthma, skin infection, damage to eyes and even cancer in some cases. Fine particles suspended in the air in the vicinity of the plant can cause respiratory problems to the workers. The area covered by air pollution will increase if the winds start blowing thus affecting even more population in the surrounding areas. The noise and vibrations caused by the heavy machinery can cause hearing problems if proper measures are not taken by the workers. Moreover, the mitigation measures like using tree belt as a sound barrier is not effective in case of such a large industry. The Pequia village is already facing problems regarding health due to contamination of the water which will be further aggravated due to disposal of waste water containing fine ore and charcoal into the river. There will always be a danger of accident at the plant and it can cause unpredictable impact on the population surrounding it. Classification of impact: LT, R, D, (-) and L.


Due to the growing demand of the iron both the plants are designed to produce pig-iron for the steel plants and foundries. The initial estimate is to produce 50,000 tons per year with a future plan to expand it to 100,000 tons per year. The primary objective of the plants is to export the pig iron to the international market, with national steel plants consuming a great part of the production. This will help to improve the economy of the country and the boost the industrial development of the area. As stated in the document industrial development in the area is the major goal of the Federal Government and is a part of a collaborative effort by the Carajas railway and Carajas mining project. The plants will draw in some new industry in the surrounding area and help in creation of more jobs. But this proposal can be shifted to some other site where it will bring the same industrial development but will have less severe impacts on the local habitat and the environment. Classification of impact: LT, IR, D and ID, (+), L and R.


The development of the iron smelting plants in the area will create a large number of jobs for the local and the regional population and he people will be involved both directly and indirectly. According to the plan each plant will employ 200 workers from the village and specialized training will be given. It will help to improve the living standards of the population which otherwise earn their living by commerce of milk, small shops and some odd jobs. But this will not be a very significant impact compared to the above impacts because only a small section of the population will be employed. The majority of population will still deal with cattle farming and vegetation and these will be adversely affected by the industrial plants. Classification of impact: LT, D and ID, IR, (+), L and R.

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To conclude, the project will have severe adverse effects on the environment of the area and will degrade the air quality and the quality of water in the Pequia River. The emissions are more severe than what is predicted in the plan and measures taken are not adequate. Moreover, the proposal does not include any effective mitigation measures for the noise pollution control and waste material that will be added to the river. So, the plant should not come up at the proposed location and a new site should be proposed where it will have less severe environmental impacts.


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