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Last week’s deadline for the EPA to object to the proposed International Paper Company test burn of tires and sewage sludge in the boiler at their Ticonderoga, NY plant passed without any comment from the EPA. This lack of objection means that International Paper is now free to conduct the test burn, which will send all kinds of big time nasty pollutants (fine particulates, dioxin, mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium, and benzene to name a few) into Vermont’s air simply because the company refuses to spend a few bucks to install up-to-date pollution prevention equipment on its smokestack.
Now that the last hurdle has been jumped, the company is proceeding with the test burn. Though it needs a couple of weeks to prepare for the burn, the fuse has been lit.
The good news is that this issue is really starting to seep into everyone’s consciousness here in Vermont. Now that it’s moved from the realm of theory into harsh cold light of imminent reality, it’s getting more attention in the local media and eliciting more public concern.
Rather than get into all the facts and figures (you can find all you need to know about the burn at People for Less Pollution), I’ll just make two points:
- As I mentioned in a comment on my earlier tire burn post, as much as this is a local issue, it’s also a national issue. The fear is that permitting this burn without modern pollution controls will set a weaker regulatory precedent that other companies will then feel free follow and the door will then be opened for the federal government to weaken portions of the Clean Air Act that govern this kind of thing. And right now we Vermonter have our fingers in the hole in the dike that’s holding back that flood.
- It’s a big scary hole in an even bigger scarier dike, and we can use all the help anyone wants to give. So give early and give often. Call or write the president of International Paper and the manager of the Ticonderoga plant to ask them to do the right thing and make a modest investment ($5-10 million from a company that made $24 billion last year) in uo-to-date pollution control equipment that will go a long way toward protecting public health. Here’s the contact info:
John V. Faraci
Chairman and CEO
6420 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38197
Christopher P. Mallon
568 Shore Airport Rd.
Ticonderoga, NY 12883
Please take a few moments to put a little polite pressure on these gentlemen. They need to know that we the people aren’t going to let companies damage the health of ourselves and our children just so they can add a few pennies of additional profit to their already pretty fat bottom line.