Frequently Asked Questions

ND Paper

 

  1. What is ND Paper’s understanding on environmental responsibility?
    • Safe operations, in full compliance with all applicable rules and regulation is the priority of ND Paper.
    • At ND Paper, sustainability efforts extend beyond compliance with environmental regulations, it’s a mission to leave this planet better than we found it by effectively implementing manufacturing efficiencies, energy conservation initiatives, utilizing recycled material in our processes, employing beneficial reuse and waste reduction practices, and adhering to sustainable forest management practices.
  2. What is ND Paper’s Environmental Policy
  3. Environmental Regulations
    • The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act establish standards that are administered at the Federal level by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, ND Paper facilities adhere to standards administered by State and Local Agencies.
  4. What are air pollutants?
    • Air pollutants are a broad group of gaseous emissions, including water vapors, particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur oxides (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and total reduced sulfur compounds (TRS).
  5. What are water pollutants?
    • Water pollutants are a broad group of compounds, including suspended solids (TSS), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), temperature, pH, and nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

Old Town Mill

 

  1. What pulp process does ND Paper Old Town Mill utilize?The Old Town Mill utilizes the sulphate (Kraft) method. The Kraft pulping process converts wood into wood pulp, which consist of cellulose fibers. The wood chips are mixed with a hot mixture of water and white liquor, which is sodium sulfide and sodium hydroxide, that breaks the bonds that link the cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. This traditional method is the most common method for producing pulp. In the Kraft pulping process, the undissolved wood and the spent pulping chemicals form a stream called weak black liquor that is later separated by washing. After this stage, the weak black liquor is sent to the Kraft Recovery system, where the environmental impact of waste material (black liquor) from the pulping process is minimized, the pulping chemicals (sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfide) are recycled, and steam and power are co-generated
  2. Environmental Regulations
    • The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act establish standards that are administered at the Federal level by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and at the State level by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
    • The Old Town Mill operates according to air and wastewater permits issued by the MEDEP.
  3. How are air emission formed in the Old Town Mill? The primary sources of air emissions are the pulping process and fuel combustion. The pulping process generates VOCs and TRS compounds, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), that contribute to odor. The byproducts of combustion include PM, SO2, NOx, CO, and CO2.
  4. Where does the Mill odor come from? Gases generated in the pulping process contain odorous sulfur compounds. These gases are collected and incinerated to reduce odor. Environmental regulations specify which process equipment must be collected and what amount of emissions are permissible. Even with the control equipment operating properly, odor from these compounds may still be detected at very low levels.
    • Gas collection systems are monitored continuously and inspected regularly.
    • Certain temporary operating conditions at the Mill, such as equipment startup, or shutdown, can potentially cause increased odor. These situations are addressed promptly.
    • Also, certain weather conditions may intensify the Mill odor, such as:
      • High humidity
      • Overcast skies, low cloud cover, and precipitation.
      • Wind direction and wind speed. Conditions with little to no wind may increase odor near the Mill. Higher winds may result in odor detected further downwind from the Mill.
  5. How is air pollution controlled?
    • The mill utilizes several types of air pollution control equipment, including incineration of odorous gases, wet scrubbers, and electrostatic precipitators.
  6. Where does the Mill withdraw its fresh water?
    • The fresh water comes from the Penobscot River.
  7. Where does the Mill’s treated wastewater go?
    • The OTM operates a multi-stage wastewater treatment plant. All process water used by the mill is treated before being released to the Penobscot River. The facility is permitted by MEDEP and is rigorously monitored.