Domtar gets passing grade
As the calendar flipped to 2012, the next level of emission standards for Domtar came into effect — and, so far, the pulp mill has passed the test.
Quarterly test results provided by Domtar to the Ministry of Environment show the mill discharged 165 milligrams of particulate per cubic metre during a January test.
That amount is less than the 180 milligrams allowed under its permit and an improvement on the near-fail from a test in the summer and the 175.8-milligrams reading from the third quarter.
By the end of the year, the mill is to have reduced the particulate emissions by 38 per cent.
Domtar spokeswoman Bonny Skene said the mill will meet that goal.
She said the mill installed two precipitators — essentially two smaller stacks — which are armed with new technology to help reduce emissions from the tall stack.
As part of an amended permit handed out by the ministry in 2009, the mill is subject to emissions testing every three months.
Skene noted the most recent test was done in January, rather than in the fourth quarter, because, under the permit, all boilers must be running at full capacity for the test.
One of the boilers was shut down for maintenance, so the mill was unable to execute the test.
The mandated goal under the permit is to eventually reduce the discharge by 70 per cent.
The the first step began in 2011 — with a drop to 200 milligrams per cubic metre from 230 milligrams.
By 2013, the two double power-boiler stacks must be in place, with a 50-milligram limit.
Finally, the high-elevation stack must drop its emissions to 90 milligrams by 2014.