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More earth-friendly mills in the century

THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY saw an increase of environmentally responsible Canadian mills in the last decade. Delegates attending Wednesday morning's session sponsored by the Bleaching Committee were...

March 1, 2000  By Pulp & Paper Canada

THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY saw an increase of environmentally responsible Canadian mills in the last decade. Delegates attending Wednesday morning’s session sponsored by the Bleaching Committee were updated on ‘Environmental Successes in Canadian Mills’.

“The pulp and paper industry invested $6.6 billion to upgrade mill operations since 1990,” said Pierre Martel, Paprican.

He said Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Ocean did a study in 1991 on the effects of effluents on fish in the St. Franois River in Quebec. They went back to the site in 1998 and their findings included: an increased liver size in fishes; reduced gonad size; delayed sexual maturity; changes in body size; and depressed sexual appetite.


However, in another study, Paprican used another type of fish, the Ceriodaphnia, for a seven-day test to measure the effect of effluents in their reproduction.

Paprican found out that effluents from a modern TMP/newsprint mill caused no harm to any organism because of efficient biotreatment. Biochemical and reproductive effects diminished with upgrades of operations.

“Mill effluents have high levels of safety,” said Martel.

Karen Smith of Domtar Inc., Espanola, ON, reported the environmental successes in Domtar in the past two years.

A digester evacuation system was installed in 1998, she said, and there has been a steam stripper upgrade and foul condensate segregation, both in 1999.

They are very much concerned about particulates and odor, she said, so there have been many changes to battle these problems. Among them are focusing on optimization; water reduction; fibre utilization; odor reduction and studies on community impact.

A.J. Hitzroth of Tembec Inc., Skookumchuck, BC, was proud to inform the delegates about his company’s spill recovery system that was installed in 1995. “We are finally able to collect spills,” he said. “It is very expensive, but without it, our mill would be dangerous,” he added.

Another Domtar delegate, Alain Liard , this time from Senneville, QC, updated the delegates about the new technologies that were installed in Domtar mills for the last 10 years.

He said the Cornwall, Quvillon, and Windsor plants are reaping the benefits of these new technologies. Because of this, he outlined the future improvements being planned by Domtar to enjoy more environmental successes in the coming years. These include the decreasing chlorine use at the Quvillon plant; reducing water consumption at the Quvillon and Cornwall facilities; reducing energy use in Cornwall, as well as improving bleaching (heat recovery); reducing chemical use in the Cornwall bleach plant.

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