Document indicates department reviewed tire burning at mill last spring
Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson considers Corner Brook Pulp and Paper’s proposal to conduct test burns of tire-derived fuel, a discussion document apparently generated by her department last spring recommends supporting the controversial plan.
The Western Star was given a copy of a document titled “Tire-Derived Fuel Assessment — Corner Brook Pulp and Paper” that, according to the title page, was produced by the Department of Environment and Conservation’s pollution prevention division last March.
While Corner Brook Pulp and Paper withdrew its original plans to burn tire-derived fuel from the provincial environmental assessment process in 2005, it only registered its more recent proposal to do trial burns Oct. 28.
The deadline for the public to comment on the proposal is Dec. 2 and Johnson’s decision is due Dec. 12. The minister declined comment on the discussion paper.
The document defines tire-derived fuels, background on the two million used tires stockpiled in the province and how the the mill proposal is one option under consideration.
It then gets into the science behind burning tires and the potential public health and environmental impacts from burning tire-derived fuel at the Corner Brook mill.
The document states that, while general predictions may be made about whether or not particular pollutants will increase, decrease or remain unchanged, it is difficult to establish how the wide range of emissions studies correlate to the Corner Brook mill specifically.
“As such, the quantity of emissions that result from burning tires as a supplemental fuel, and the relative emissions compared to operating the facility without this supplemental fuel, can only be determined by source emission testing and ambient air dispersion modelling,” states the discussion paper.
The document deals with some of the contaminants created by burning tire-derived fuels. It states “there is insufficient source testing data available for facilities comparable to the (Corner Brook Pulp and Paper) mill to accurately predict how (tire-derived fuel) use will impact dioxin and furan emissions.”
The document says, like many of the other contaminants, the mill should be able to ensure concentrations of the listed contaminants “remain low and well below” the ambient air quality standards.
The conclusion is tire-derived fuel combustion at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is not anticipated to have significant environmental and health impacts and testing is needed to learn more. “This conclusion will need to be supported by a full characterization of ambient air emissions ... to demonstrate that potential contaminants of concern are below the applicable air quality standards or guidelines,” states the document.