TDEC Sends Notice to KC


KC Smokestack


Kimberly Clark (KC) Stack Testing 


By: Pat Hunter

March 1, 2009


At Wednesday’s, Feb. 25th 3:30 p.m. meeting, concerned citizens outnumbered the four members of the Loudon County Air Quality Task Force. And with no quorum present, Chairman Mike Crosby called the meeting to order as an informal workshop meeting, which is strictly for discussion with no deliberations or votes. For those of you that aren't familiar with the task force, the task force is an advisory committee comprised of industry, government officials, physician and citizens. The task force routinely provides agendas and minutes by email request. Agendas and other informational handouts are available at meetings so people can follow along. Citizens may also speak and/or ask questions during each agenda item, which is being discussed by the task force.  


Two ambient air monitors are presently located in Loudon County. One is located at the Jimmie Pope property on Webb Dr., a stone throw from the Blairbend Industrial Park. The second ambient air monitor is located behind Ft. Loudon Middle School and Loudon Elementary School.


At last month's meeting with EPA Region 4 officials, the public was given preliminary assessment information on toxic emissions collected from the two monitors. Acrolein levels were found to be ten times (10 X) higher in Loudon County than the national level and many times higher than the desirable limits.


Bryan Crawford is an employee of Kimberly Clark (KC) and a member of the air quality task force. Other industry members include representatives from Tate & Lyle and Viskase, both members were absent. The Loudon Kimberly Clark mill is located at the Sugarlimb Industrial Park and produces commercial hand towels and tissue paper.


Crawford informed the group that last Thursday (Feb 19) he received a Notice of intent by email from Quincy Styke. Quincy Styke is the deputy director of the Air Pollution Control Board, a division of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). According to Crawford, the State's intent is to test the wood boiler for particulates, acrolein, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.


Kimberly Clark management was made aware of TDEC's notice but Kimberly Clark has yet to dialogue with TDEC about the timing and the overall scope. There is nothing firm and he isn't sure when this would occur, perhaps next month, Bryan Crawford added. Crawford shared his concerns, what is the scope overall? From that point, do they (APC-TDEC) plan to test others plants or is it just Kimberly Clark and what will they do?   


For years, neighbors have openly complained about the large dust and fine particulate soot. Many believe that this is created by the Trigen wood boiler.


Larry Bandy, who passed away unexpectedly on June 9, 2007, was instrumental in bringing this issue to the attention of the community and TDEC.


Jim Woods, neighbor of Trigen-Kimberly Clark, continues to voice his concerns about the fugitive dust and dark grey-blackish soot.


Some believe that the large particles and fine dark grey-black soot originate from wood boiler burning sludge and wood mix, which creates steam for the KC plant. Past discussions and public records have referenced the dark particulate matter as a product likely from incomplete combustion.