ARKANSAS (From news reports) -- The Evergreen Packaging mill in Pine Bluff has been fined more than $250,000 for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act, according to a news release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
On Sept. 27, the EPA finalized a consent agreement and final order with Evergreen Packaging in connection with the alleged violations. The agreement alleges that Evergreen failed to control hazardous air pollutants at its facility, did not meet fuel specifications for boilers and failed to close washer windows/hoods during operation. Evergreen Packaging must pay a civil penalty of $256,973, according to the release.
"This settlement demonstrates EPA holding companies accountable for failing to meet crucial Clean Air Act standards," said Dr. Earthea Nance, regional administrator. "Hazardous air pollutants not only pose a threat to the environment, but they also affect nearby communities as well. With the corrective actions of the settlement and the supplemental environmental project, Pine Bluff residents will have cleaner air quality in their area."
Attempts to reach Pactiv Evergreen, which owns Evergreen Packaging, were unsuccessful.
To maintain compliance, Evergreen must make several corrective actions at the Pine Bluff facility. It must maintain a digester capping valve repair-and-replace program, hire an independent inspector to conduct an inspection of the bleach plant and all pieces of bleaching equipment, prepare and submit a report to the EPA identifying each instance that a hood opening or enclosure is found to be open and must submit a notification of compliance status update.
Additionally, Evergreen has agreed to implement a $2.1 million supplemental environment project to reduce the hazardous air pollutants found in the wastewater treatment system.
"Evergreen will install 10 new mechanical aerators into the wastewater treatment system and relocate the outfall location," according to the news release. "By adding the aerators and relocating the outfall location, Evergreen will see a more accurate and reliable flow-monitoring, a decrease in total suspended solids at the outfall and the wastewater flow will be more stabilized. The [supplemental project] is expected to be completed within a 30-month time frame."
Evergreen Packaging will have 30 days to pay the civil penalty to the United States. The proposed consent agreement can be viewed on the EPA's public website: https://www.epa.gov/ar/enforcement-and-compliance-assurance-documents-arkansas.