MeadWestvaco Honored for Technological Innovation
May 18, 2006 - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) is pleased to recognize MeadWestvaco Corporation for outstanding industry performance in the 33rd Annual Environmental & Energy Achievement Awards. The Awards recognize companies that contribute significantly to advances in the practical application of new and improved environmental and energy technology.
As the overall winner of this year's awards, MeadWestvaco Corporation was honored for their entry, "Ammonia Scrubber for Condensate Stripper Off-Gases." Company engineers in the North Charleston, SC, mill developed and implemented an innovative process to capture ammonia in waste gases and utilize it as a nutrient for the wastewater treatment plant, reducing NOx emissions by 80 tons per year.
"This technology, found nowhere else in the world, has helped MeadWestvaco turn an environmental challenge into a useful solution," commented Rick Hyatt, vice president and mill manager of MeadWestvaco's North Charleston mill. "We are honored to have had this project selected from among the many submissions across the industry."
The judges also awarded special recognition to Georgia-Pacific Corporation for their innovative research project, "Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems Using a Predictive Multi-Biomarker Approach." The project uses new scientific techniques to better understand the potential impacts of mill effluents on ecosystems.
This year's panel of judges included representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Resources for the Future, the World Resources Institute, and industry experts. The awards were presented during the Environment, Health, Safety & Energy Executive Committee meeting at AF&PA on May 11, 2006.
"I was happy to participate in AF&PA's long-standing tradition of recognizing facilities that are proactively taking strides to improve the environment," said EPA's Rhea Hale, a judge and a representative of the EPA Sector Program. "EPA's Sectors Program promotes the use of best practices within each Sector it works with. The forest products industry is one of twelve Sectors in our program. These award entries offer excellent examples of initiatives that can be adopted across the industry to improve the environmental performance of the sector as a whole."
"I think both of these projects are examples of the type of innovative thinking that will benefit both the environment and the industry into the future," said Florence Daviet of the World Resources Institute, also a judge on this year's panel. "It is important to recognize and encourage such thinking if we are to continue to evolve and improve our complex relationship with the earth."