Mill tackles emissions


JAY – Wausau Paper has undertaken several recommendations a firm made to reduce or eliminate acid soot emissions from the Otis Mill in downtown Jay.

The paper company also is following through on several other recommendations of Castine Energy Services Inc. in an engineering study of the boiler flue gas system at the mill.

Planning Board members accepted the engineering study on soot discharges Tuesday and ordered mill officials to submit quarterly updates along with the quarterly air-emission report outlining progress and the projects the company has committed to doing. The quarterly update also will include a discussion regarding the general status of the soot occurring at the mill so that the board may determine the effectiveness of projects and determine a path for future action.

The Planning Board issues industry land-, water- and air-quality permits to monitor emissions and discharges into the ground, river and air.

Jay residents and business owners have complained over the years about acid soot releases from the Otis Mill.

Acid soot has been released into the air through the mill’s stack at times, landing on people’s vehicles and property downtown. It has done some damage, including paint removal on vehicles.

Environmental Code Administrator Shiloh Ring suggested last summer that the board use an engineering consultant to conduct an evaluation of the cause of the soot and determine what could be done to alleviate it. In the end, the mill hired two engineering firms to conduct the study with the town’s consultant and Ring involved.

Ring said Wednesday she is pleased mill officials already completed or worked on many of the recommendations before the report came to the board.

Castine Energy rated the projects it recommended as major impact, will impact and minor impact.

Among the projects already completed by the paper company are:

• Repaired upper-level door insulation into an old coal conveyor room;

• Sealed No. 1 boiler top air heater inlet covers;

• Sealed cover on basement floor between No. 1 and No. 2 boilers;

• Removed old No. 2 duct at basement, rebuilt damper;

• Sealed ash hoppers on boilers No. 2 and No. 3;

• Fixed several leaks on fans, ash hoppers and doors on boilers.

Projects mill officials have committed to complete are:

• Install thermometers on the duct work for boiler No. 3;

• Portable flue gas analyzer for stack testing analysis has been ordered;

• Repairs to tunnel and flue gas ductwork;

• Install acid neutralization chemical system on wash water.

Projects that have been committed to further investigation include:

• Cascade boiler water blow down system;

• Install trim heater on No. 1 boiler fuel system;

• Repair existing design to tunnel.