IP would install pollution control equipment for future burns

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(Host) International Paper Company says it will install additional pollution control equipment at its plant in Ticonderoga if it decides to burn tires there.

Before the company conducted a controversial test burn last year, opponents had demanded the company install the equipment.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports.

(Zind) International Paper says an analysis of the results of last year’s test burn of TDF – tire derived fuel – shows emissions levels that were anticipated except in one category: particulates.

Unpredictable spikes in particulate emissions during the test caused the company to stop burning TDF after only five days.

But company spokeswoman Donna Wadsworth there’s nothing in the test burn results that convinces IP that burning TDF won’t work once the proper emissions control equipment is installed.

(Wadsworth) “What we’re finding is that there are no real surprises – nothing that would impact us not going forward with this project at some point in the future. Part of the trial was designed to determine what kind of additional pollution control devices we would need to put on the boiler. Probably the best pollution control device would be what is called a wet electrostatic precipitator.”

(Zind) That technology – the electrostatic precipitator – is what opponents of the test burn, including the State of Vermont, demanded before IP conducted last November’s trial.

In fact Governor Jim Douglas offered to have Vermont pay part of the cost of the equipment as inducement to install it before the test burn. There was concern about the health affects of emissions from the tire burn on Vermonters living downwind from the plant.

IP’s Wadworth says a decision on whether to apply again for a permit to burn TDF, tire derived fuel, won’t come soon.

The company is reviewing electrostatic precipitator designs. Wadsworth says the equipment could cost up to $12 million.

The State of Vermont collected air quality samples during the test burn. Nearly six months later the results aren’t yet available.

Richard Valentinetti heads the Air Pollution Control Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(Valentinetti) “The information that we still don’t have is information on size of particulate, as well as the metals associated with the various burns.”

(Zind) Valentinetti says the test data is being analyzed by the University of California at Davis.

For VPR News, I’m Steve Zind.

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