The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Port Townsend Paper Corporation (PTPC) $56,250 for exceeding an air quality limit at their Port Townsend mill.
On July 6, 2022, emissions measured from PTPC’s recovery furnace exceeded the hazardous air pollutant limit required under their air quality permit. A clog in part of the emissions treatment system was found to be limiting the system’s performance. PTPC discovered and corrected the problem on July 7, 2022. PTPC performed a performance test on Aug. 25, 2022 that demonstrated compliance with the emission limit.
PTPC’s air quality permit limits emissions of hazardous air pollutants such as metals from the facility’s recovery furnace, using particulate matter levels as a proxy for other forms of pollution. The company demonstrates compliance with the limit by periodically measuring emissions from the recovery furnace.
Hazardous air pollutants can endanger public health. Sensitive groups like children, adults over 65, and people with respiratory issues are particularly vulnerable to these types of pollutants.
PTPC has 30 days to pay the fine, or to appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.