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printech, September, 2002
Environmental Agreement Between WDNR and PCA

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From: Wayne Pferdehirt (pferdehi@epd.engr.wisc.edu)
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 07:36:13

I thought some Printech/Printreg subscribers might be interested in this announcement re. a cooperative agreement between Packaging Corp. of America and the Wisconsin DNR. -Wayne

The Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) signed an environmental cooperative agreement today in which PCA's Tomahawk manufacturing plant commits to achieve a higher environmental standard than required by regulation.

DNR Secretary Darrell Bazzell and Bruce Ridley, manager of PCA's Tomahawk mill, signed the agreement during a ceremony today at the PCA Training Center. PCA, headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., makes corrugated medium used in packaging. The Tomahawk facility, with 450 employees, is Lincoln County's largest employer. The agreement signing culminates a four-year effort among PCA, the DNR and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the DNR’s Environmental Cooperation Pilot Program, PCA will implement two environmental control projects. One project is designed to maximize the control of methanol, a hazardous air pollutant, while the other will allow increased use of biomass fuel in power generation.

"PCA has a well-documented history of excellent environmental performance, winning numerous awards for their pollution prevention and waste minimization work. Now they have chosen to take the next step and be a leader in improving the environment by doing more than regulations require," said Darrell Bazzell, DNR Secretary. "This agreement is an innovative approach that will help PCA accomplish superior environmental performance."

For one aspect of its agreement, PCA worked with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement in verifying the performance of a PCA-designed environmental system that dramatically reduces atmospheric releases of methanol produced in the wood pulping process. Since the innovative process went online in May 2001, methanol collection and treatment has improved more than 500 percent.

Under the second part of the agreement, PCA intends to increase the use of bark and sawdust as fuel in one of its power boilers, thus reducing coal consumption. Other terms of the agreement include commitments by PCA to develop an environmental management system designed to continuously improve the facility's environmental performance by establishing environmental goals and performance objectives. PCA also will evaluate treatment methods designed to minimize phosphorus discharges to the Wisconsin River.

In addition, by means of an interested persons group, PCA will work to increase employee and community understanding of the facility's environmental objectives and performance. Ridley stated, "PCA's involvement in this project reflects our company's policy of incorporating technical improvements into our operation and products in order to protect the environment and continues Tomahawk Mill's long tradition as an environmental steward here in the north."

The Environmental Cooperation Pilot program, established by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1997, is designed to provide businesses with regulatory flexibility for environmental projects that achieve superior performance at reduced cost. The program authorizes DNR to enter into agreements with up to 10 businesses statewide. For more information about this program, go to the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.wi.us, select "Bureau of Cooperative Environmental Assistance" on the scroll-down menu and click on Environmental Cooperation Pilot Program.

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