International Paper stops test burn
A serious dispute arose between the State of Vermont
and International Paper over a plan by the company to do a test
burn of used tires at its Ticonderoga plant in upstate New York.
Vermont strenuously opposed the test burn, challenging
it at every possible level. However, the opposition, led by recently
re-elected Republican Governor Jim Douglas was unable to prevent
the test from occurring.
International Paper began the test burn on November
6 and abandoned it on November 14, saying that they had determined
it would not be economically feasible to burn tire derived fuel
(TDF) at this time.
IP had hoped to burn TDF at a rate as high as
three tons per hour, but at one ton per hour their particulate emissions
testing showed them bumping up against their permit limit of 0.1
IP also did particulate tests at a half-ton per
hour feed rate and one quarter ton per hour feed rate. These tests
came back at 0.1 lbs/mmbtu and .09 lbs/mmbtu respectively.
Vermont had taken several legal steps to oppose
the test burn.
“It would seem that the biggest long-term
implication of the test burn is that International Paper has decided
that it is not economically feasible to burn TDF at the Ticonderoga
Mill,” says Jeffrey Wennerg, Commissioner, Department of Environment
Conservation. “Generally, the legal implications for states
regarding the test burn are still being determined. For instance,
Vermont filed a petition raising a number of legal issues related
to the test burn. That petition is pending before the EPA and the
State has a statutory right to appeal EPA’s determination
to the Second Circuit.
“In addition,” he adds. “Vermont
is appealing a New York court’s finding that NYSDEC acted
lawfully when it determined that the proposed test burn was exempt
from environmental review under New York’s SEQRA. These pending
legal actions could set precedents that will affect similar disputes
in other states.”
The United States EPA did not intervene on Vermont’s
“The EPA decided not to object to the permit
that NY DEC issued – over Vermont’s objections,”
says Wennberg. “International Paper has now stopped the tire
burn and Vermont remains committed to its original opinion. IP should
have the option to burn alternative fuels in their boiler, but only
with the appropriate pollution controls in place.”