Sugar coating the truth

Industry fails stack test for particulates

TDEC issues 2nd Notice of Violation to Kimberly Clark

By: Pat Hunter

The Loudon County Air Quality Task Force met on Sept. 23rd at the Annex and it was reported in the Sept. 27-28 News Herald, "Stack testing has been conducted in recent weeks at Kimberly Clark. Task force member Bryan Crawford, who is with Kimberly Clark, reported testing did not reveal any significant problems with emissions." Bryan Crawford's comments appeared in the News Herald article captioned "Air Quality Task Force members hear concerns of discoloration."

Wanting to know the facts for myself, I contacted Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) field office only to be referred to the Enforcement office in Nashville.

Kimberly Clark exceeds particulate emissions again

The Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board sent a certified letter dated September 1, 2009 to Kimberly Clark (KC) management informing KC that test results showed particulate pollutant emissions above permit limits and a Notice Of Violation was issued once again. 

At 84 percent of the boiler's rated capacity, the boiler still failed the particulate emissions!

According to public records obtained from TDEC, during the testing period the average particulate emission rate was 28.5 pounds per hour. This value was in excess of the applicable particulate emission rate of 18.47 pounds per hour as set in the Title V permit.

Click to view June 17, 2009 Notice of Violation - April 15 and April 17, 2009 Stack Test

Click to view September 1, 2009 - 2nd Notice of Violation (particulates) - July 29, 2009 Stack Test 

The following information was located on the TDEC website, "The Division of APC has the right to conduct inspections as deemed necessary. The Division may suspend or revoke any operating permit if the permit holder fails to comply with the provisions, stipulations or compliance schedules specified in the permit. The Tennessee Air Quality Act provides for civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation.

The Division of APC is responsible for protecting the air quality of Tennessee. Requiring a source (or a business) to obtain an operating permit ensures that any existing, new, modified, replaced or relocated source complies with all air pollution emissions standards and will not have a detrimental impact on human health or the environment."

In 2005, Kimberly Clark failed stack testing for particulates. According to the News Herald article, "The facility is permitted to release 18.47 pounds of particulate matter per hour. The stack test showed the facility was releasing 37 pounds per hour." 

If Kimberly Clark is violating their permit limits, why isn't TDEC doing their job to protect human health and the environment?


"Industry fails stack test - June 22, 2005

Trigen Biopower, a company selling steam to Kimberly-Clark, failed a stack test for particulate matter...The facility was tested in late April and notified of the violation in mid-May, the deputy director said...

Note: Kimberly Clark incinerates wood waste and sludge to produce steam. Trigen Biopower was purchased by Kimberly Clark.