International Paper Cleared For Tire Test-Burn at NY Mill

Nov. 6, 2006 - International Paper has been cleared to begin burning tons of shredded tires at its Ticonderoga mill, which is situated on the New York shore of Lake Champlain, after a federal appeals court rejected Vermont's last-ditch effort to halt the two-week test.

According to an article in Vermont's Times Argus, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied the state's request for an injunction to block the test, which is intended to evaluate the air pollution effects of burning up to 72 tons of tires a day to fuel IPaper's giant power boilers.

Vermont's Attorney General William Sorrell said the decision is most likely the last word in the state's three-year quest to block the burn, and in a statement called the court decision "a real disappointment."

"It now appears that IP will be burning tires on Monday," the statement said. "The test burn and any further plan by IP to burn tire-derived fuel will be subject to intense scrutiny by the state of Vermont and we will continue to pursue all appropriate legal actions to protect the citizens of Vermont."

Donna Wadsworth, spokeswoman for the mill, said the burn would begin Monday morning.

Under a permit granted the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, International Paper will add up to 3 tons per hour to a fuel mix that currently includes fuel oil and bark chips to power its main boiler, which generates electricity for the mill and steam for its manufacturing processes, Wadsworth said.

She said International Paper had contracted with a company in western New York to deliver to the mill 1-inch tire chips, the same size as the bark the company already uses. Wadsworth said the company planned to use the test burn in part to determine what mix of oil, bark, and tire chips provides the best result.

International Paper is hoping the test will show it can use crushed tires to replace about 10 percent of its annual fuel supply, which could save the plant about $4 million a year. IP has said it will strictly monitor the test burn, and will stop it if pollution levels exceed Vermont's air quality standards.

SOURCE: The Barre Montpelier Times Argus and The Boston Globe

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