EPA Issues an Emergency Order and Information Request to a Containerboard Company with Air Monitoring Expansion

EPA Issues an Emergency Order and Information Request to a Containerboard Company with Air Monitoring Expansion

The New Indy Containerboard Facility was issued an order to correct the undesirable level of air contaminants.

The EPA Region 4 issued an emergency order under Section 303 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 114. The order is addressed to New Indy Containerboard Pulp and Paper Mill to reduce its emissions of hydrogen sulfide to meet the specific limits monitored at the fence line in Catawba, South Carolina. According to a press release, the EPA also sent the company a formal request for information under CAA Section 114 requiring the company to perform air monitoring in the areas surrounding the facility. There is also air monitoring initiated by the EPA that goes around the Rock Hill area and extends into North Carolina. This is intended to reduce and prevent future public health and welfare risks associated with hydrogen sulfide emissions.

"The steps taken by EPA today are necessary to address levels of hydrogen sulfide that have impacted residents along the North Carolina and South Carolina border, and Catawba Indian Nation (CIN)," said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator John Blevins. "The joint efforts of CIN, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), and the Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) emphasize the agencies' full commitment to restoring the area's air quality."

New Indy Containerboard is required to take steps to reduce sulfide emissions to meet specific limits immediately. According to the press release, “as monitored by the fence line, of 600 parts per billion over a rolling 30-minute period and 70 parts per billion over a rolling seven-day average.”

The facility must also install three fence line monitors and submit a draft plan followed by a final plan five days later. EPA also requires New Indy to immediately notify the association if it is exceeding, submit daily documentation and summary reports.

“This order clearly defines immediate actions that New Indy must take to ensure good air quality for the people who live and work near the facility,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “As the state’s public health and environmental protection agency, it is our duty to ensure that companies in South Carolina are good stewards of our beautiful state and that our residents have clean, odor-free air to the extent we can control.”

Learn more about the active investigation being conducted here.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety Magazine.

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