Ponderay Newsprint Company (PNC) is located at Usk, Pend
Oreille County, Washington. The production facilities include
a chip unloading and handling facility, a 610 T/D thermo-mechanical
pulp mill, a 120 T/D waste paper recycling facility, and one
paper machine producing approximately 700 T/D of standard newsprint.
Steam is used throughout its newsprint production. In 2001, PNC
is finishing its conversion from propane to organic waste fuel
which is used to fire their boiler.
According to a 1999 EPA Risk Management Plan (10623 Washington),
PNC had identified two substances that are regulated under the
Risk Management Planning Standard (40 CFR 68 section 112(r)).
- Sulfur Dioxide, used as a brightening agent in the pulping
- Propane, used to fire their steam boiler (rated at 180,000
Both sulfur dioxide and propane are potentially hazardous
when released into the atmosphere, especially in large quantities.
PNC is located in a river valley where heavier than air releases
would have a tendency to remain at or near ground level.
PNCs new combustor eliminates the need for propane
since its uses organic paper and wood product waste as fuel.
Formerly, the waste was spread on open fields. While there was
apparently no environment hazard occurring with this method of
disposal (the waste being organic), it did present a disposal
cost to PNC. By utilizing the waste as fuel, both the cost of
disposal and the cost of the propane are eliminated along with
elimination of the potential hazard a propane release might cause.
PNCs conversion from propane to clean waste as a
fuel source demonstrates their commitment to good business practices
and a healthy environment.