Tell New Indy Containerboard in Catawba, SC to reduce its odor emissions

Tell New Indy Containerboard in Catawba, SC to reduce its odor emissions

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Mayra Frommelt started this petition to New Indy Containerboard - Catawba SC

Pressure New Indy Containerboard (Catawba, SC) to mitigate odor and consider the health impacts of the surrounding residential neighborhoods in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.

Many communities that border South/North Carolina are experiencing a nauseating smell on a daily basis. This causes our neighbors, friends and businesses to become physically ill. After 14,000+ complaints, and counting, registered by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), and based on their own preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the New Indy Containerboard Plant in Catawba, SC (Plant) is the culprit. Communities living within a 40 mile radius badly need the cooperation of the plant and their understanding that the odor emitted today and the planned future increases cannot go unmitigated and unattended. The current volume of odor is unsustainable and unhealthy for all of our neighbors and impossible to endure over a prolonged period of time. The impact of this plant is real, and physical ailments whether it be nausea, headache, eye irritation and respiratory system complaints continue and will likely not curtail, but rather increase as more people relocate to this region. The problem will continue to grow if it is not addressed.
 
Make no mistake – this is not a call to close the plant. We understand the rich history and what the economic viability means to people in the region. New Indy who acquired the former plant Resolute Forest Products is not your grandfather's paper mill. We must implore New Indy to modify operations such that we all can live and thrive. Restrictions in our daily lives in this region will not be sustainable and overtime will no longer be viable for residential habitation. Currently, New Indy and residential growth are incompatible.  We need to figure out how to harmonize between a willing and accountable plant and the residents of our community. Today, there are many viable actions that the plant can pursue to mitigate odor, including the use of appropriate technology that limits the level of emissions.
 
Background on the Process

The likely odor culprits from this plant are - Hydrogen Sulfides, Methly Mercaptan, Dimethylsulfide and other volatile sulfur compounds which are byproducts of the construction of the Containerboard’s and created during the process use of sulfite for the pulping, where sulfur compounds are involved. Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, among other gases are common effluents (outflows). Hydrogen sulfide is recognized as a very dangerous byproduct and is becoming a larger problem in this sector of the industry. Monitoring wastewater basins and air emissions for employees as well as public exposure is crucial.  As such, continuous monitoring on premises is necessary and immediately needed upon the completion of the EPA and SC DHEC investigation.  This will allow for the reporting of the levels of odor and other toxins. In addition, will restore community trust and necessary for future on-going monitoring to be made available to the general public.
 
 
Regulation and Oversight
For all the protections that the Clean Air Act was intended to provide, the EPA’s negligence and shirking its duty to protect people from toxic air pollution is deeply sad. Further, it should be stated that the EPA only regulates 6 (criteria pollutants) and there are in excess of 180+ toxins unmonitored or untracked within this country. Our oversight, either local, state or federal does not have the funding of resources to keep up with the demands that are needed to police these industries. Because of these limitations, we need the ability to collectively come together and offer our common voice of reason.  
 
Request
Dr. Richard Hartman  – please don’t let New Indy operate without any regard to social health of the community and consider the impact the plant is having on your neighbors. I know New Indy has the power and resources to create and/or enhance odor abatement within the emission process and further the ability to implement and/or refine scrubbing technology in order to bring about a better environmental outcome. We implore you to consider refining your operations in order to bring harmony to the community. Ignoring this number one public nuisance will not make it go way.
 
Make no mistake this is not an exaggeration of aliments or a hypersensitivity from a handful of people, but rather a much broader problem caused by your plant.  Adequate measures need to be taken to address this problem. We understand the economic impact, but the plant must find a way to adapt operations and must be prepared to retrain and retain the needed personnel, but a common sense approach is needed immediately. Self-regulation is not working and the action of the plant is jeopardizing our health.  Let’s try to move the scale from the favor of excess pollution and unintended consequences to positive public health outcomes.
 
This petition is summoning our collective voice with the belief that together we are stronger than one, and we have the power to influence positive change. New Indy needs to change its practices immediately. We cannot wait for regulators to catch-up or new laws to be created.
 
Thank you for reading, and if you agree, please join me by signing this petition which demonstrates your support. Feel free to circulate and encourage others to join the fight. 
 
 
Respectfully,
 
Edward and Mayra Frommelt
 
 

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