Paper Company Using Technology to Prevent Pollution

Eastern Pulp & Paper Co.'s oxygen bleaching technology eliminates\r\nchlorine, substantially cuts dependence on other chemicals and\r\neliminates detectable dioxin.

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Eastern Pulp & Paper Co. said it has generated significant, well-documented environmental advances -- at reduced operating costs --from a unique and custom-developed oxygen bleaching process at its manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Maine.

Maine Gov. Angus King presented the company with an environmental excellence award for its accomplishments in pollution prevention.

"Independent laboratory test results document that we are now among the cleanest pulp and papermakers in the United States," said Joseph Torras Sr., chairman and CEO of Eastern Pulp & Paper Corp. "We''re grateful for this recognition, which supports the idea that environmental progress and good manufacturing jobs go hand-in-hand."

No other pulp mill in the United States uses oxygen as intensively or uniquely as Eastern Pulp & Paper, the company said.

Eastern''s oxygen bleaching process has resulted in the total elimination of detectable dioxin from the Lincoln mill''s bleach plant waste stream. It has also significantly reduced the mill''s need for chlorine dioxide.

Torras said the oxygen bleaching technology, developed by his company, has also allowed the Lincoln mill to move well below stringent EPA limits governing pulp and paper facilities -- in some categories, 10 times lower than EPA standards. All tests are conducted by independent laboratories and these results are regularly reported to government regulators.

The oxygen bleaching process, called envir02, is just one of several environmentally progressive manufacturing initiatives in which the Lincoln mill has invested. The company also uses waste sawdust for manufacturing its pulp, which, to date, has resulted in the savings of more than 4 million tons of virgin timber. The waste sawdust, which comes from regional lumber mills, previously had been either burned or buried.

by Virginia Foran

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