SCHN 2017 Annual Report

SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 75 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2017 reasonably possible that it will incur in connection with the Site, although such costs could be material to the Company’s financial position, results of operations, cash flows and liquidity. Among the facts currently being developed are detailed information on the history of ownership of and the nature of the uses of and activities and operations performed on each property within the Site, which are factors that will play a substantial role in determining the allocation of investigation and remedy costs among the PRPs. The Company has insurance policies that it believes will provide reimbursement for costs it incurs for defense, remediation and mitigation for natural resource damages claims in connection with the Site, although there is no assurance that those policies will cover all of the costs which the Company may incur. The Company previously recorded a liability for its estimated share of the costs of the investigation of $1 million. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is separately providing oversight of voluntary investigations by the Company involving the Company’s sites adjacent to the Portland Harbor which are focused on controlling any current “uplands” releases of contaminants into the Willamette River. No liabilities have been established in connection with these investigations because the extent of contamination (if any) and the Company’s responsibility for the contamination (if any) have not yet been determined. Recycling Operations As of August 31, 2017 and 2016, the Company's auto and metals recycling operations had environmental liabilities of $48 million and $46 million, respectively, for the potential remediation of locations where it has conducted business or has environmental liabilities from historical or recent activities. The liabilities relate to the investigation and potential future remediation of soil contamination, groundwater contamination, stormwater runoff issues and other natural resource damages andwere not individually material at any site. Steel Manufacturing Operations The Company's steel manufacturing operations had no environmental liabilities as of August 31, 2017 and 2016. The steel mill's electric arc furnace generates dust (“EAF dust”) that is classified as hazardous waste by the EPA because of its zinc and lead content. As a result, the Company captures the EAF dust and ships it in specialized rail cars to a firm that applies a treatment that allows the EAF dust to be delisted as hazardous waste. The Company's steel mill has an operating permit issued under Title V of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which governs certain air quality standards. The permit is based upon an annual production capacity of 950 thousand tons. The permit was first issued in 1998 and has since been renewed through February 1, 2018. Legacy Environmental Loss Contingencies The Company’s environmental loss contingencies as of August 31, 2017 and 2016, other than Portland Harbor, include actual or possible investigation and cleanup costs from historical contamination at sites currently or formerly owned or operated by the Company or at other sites where the Company may have responsibility for such costs due to past disposal or other activities ("legacy environmental loss contingencies"). These legacy environmental loss contingencies relate to the potential remediation of waterways and soil and groundwater contamination and may also involve natural resource damages, governmental fines and penalties and claims by third parties for personal injury and property damage. The Company has been notified that it is or may be a potentially responsible party at certain of these sites, and investigation and cleanup activities are ongoing or may be required in the future. The Company recognizes a liability for such matters when the loss is probable and can be reasonably estimated. Where investigation and cleanup activities are ongoing or where the Company has not yet been identified as having responsibility or the contamination has not yet been identified, it is reasonably possible that the Company may need to recognize additional liabilities in connection with such sites but the Company cannot currently reasonably estimate the possible loss or range of loss absent additional information or developments. Such additional liabilities, individually or in the aggregate, may have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Summary - Environmental Contingencies Other than the Portland Harbor Superfund site and legacy environmental loss contingencies, which are discussed separately above, management currently believes that adequate provision has been made for the potential impact of these issues and that the ultimate outcomes will not have a material adverse effect on the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Company as a whole. Historically, the amounts the Company has ultimately paid for such remediation activities have not been material in any given period.