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Georgia-Pacific settles EPA Clean Air Act claims

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC and Georgia-Pacific Consumer Operations LLC (Georgia-Pacific) of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) set forth in a complaint filed 14 December 2018 with the US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.

The complaint alleges that the violations occurred at the companies’ paper and chemical products facilities in Crossett, Arkansas. The complaint and settlement are a result of an EPA inspection of these facilities in 2015.

Under the settlement, Georgia-Pacific is required to take steps to correct the violations, implement a mitigation project to reduce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions, and implement three supplemental environmental projects to further control H2S. The companies will also pay US$600 000 in civil penalties, half to the US and half to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

The settlement will further efforts by EPA and ADEQ to address residents’ health and odour complaints stemming from H2S emissions from the Georgia-Pacific facilities.

EPA’s inspection revealed, among other concerns, a lack of air pollution controls (required under the CAA’s New Source Performance Standards and the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) at two wood pulp washers at the facilities. The settlement requires Georgia-Pacific, among other things, to install the appropriate pollution controls on its washers, update leak-control and compliance-monitoring procedures, and conduct emissions and performance testing on other control systems. The measures required by the settlement are designed to achieve reductions of hazardous air pollutants released from the facilities. In connection with the settlement, Georgia-Pacific also installed a US$2.9-million mitigation project to reduce H2S emissions and odours from its wastewater discharges.

In addition, Georgia-Pacific will implement three supplemental environmental projects, costing nearly US$2 million, to reduce the potential for H2S emissions from the company’s processes and to establish air monitoring for H2S along the fenceline of the facilities for at least three years. Monitoring data will be available to the public in real time on a website.

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