Tire burn may produce unsafe zinc levels

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says he’s ready to pursue all legal options to stop a test burn of tires at the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga.

Douglas says a preliminary review shows that the burn over a number of days would release unsafe levels of zinc into the atmosphere.

(Douglas) “The company itself indicates that the amount of zinc emissions are likely to be dispersed in a way that exceeds the maximum allowable amounts under our air quality standards. That obviously is unacceptable to me. This is information that just became available. Now, it’s only preliminary, there has to be more work done to determine that this preliminary assessment is correct. But I want to be sure that we’re in a position to resist any emissions that would exceed the air quality standards of our state.”

(Host) The governor says if these test results are confirmed, he’ll ask the attorney general to try to halt the burn.

(Douglas) “If these data are proved to be accurate, and the zinc emissions would be well in excess of what we find to be acceptable in Vermont, I want to be ready.”

(Host) International Paper wants to use the tires as an alternative fuel source at the paper plant. The company says it doesn’t need permission from Vermont to proceed with the test. International Paper is still waiting for approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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