Doc­u­ment in­di­cates depart­ment re­viewed tire burn­ing at mill last spring

The Telegram (St. John's) - - BUSINESS - BYGARYKEAN


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.

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