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News Releases from Region 10

EPA, Department of Justice and Clearwater Paper Corporation settle Clean Air Act violations in Lewiston, Idaho, protecting local air quality

06/10/2015
Contact Information: 
Mark MacIntyre EPA Public Affairs (macintyre.mark@epa.gov)
206-553-7302

(Seattle - June 9, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) and the Clearwater Paper Corporation (Clearwater Paper) have reached a settlement regarding Clean Air Act violations at Clearwater Paper's Lewiston, Idaho, pulp mill. Clearwater Paper is the country's largest provider of private label tissue to retail grocery chains and a major bleached paperboard manufacturer.

Today, the USDOJ, acting on behalf of EPA, filed both a Complaint alleging claims under the Clean Air Act and a proposed Consent Decree resolving those claims in the federal district court in Idaho. The Complaint alleged that Clearwater violated the Clean Air Act by failing to control emissions of total reduced sulfur (TRS) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) as required by applicable regulations.

"Communities like Lewiston depend on Clearwater Paper to comply with their permits and minimize air pollution wherever possible," said Ed Kowalski, director of EPA's Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. "Inspecting facilities like Clearwater Paper is also key to our National Air Toxics Enforcement Initiative, where EPA is focused on reducing illegal emissions of hazardous air pollutants that can harm air quality and community health."

As part of the settlement, Clearwater Paper will invest approximately $800,000 in re-routing sawdust digester gases containing TRS and HAPs to pollution control equipment at the plant. Prior to reaching final settlement, Clearwater spent an additional $43,000 on repairs to its pulp washers which reduced emissions. The settlement terms also require that Clearwater Paper pay a $300,000 civil penalty.

EPA's National Air Toxics Enforcement Initiative prioritizes cutting HAPs, or air toxics, that are known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects and seriously harm the environment. Actions required by this settlement will reduce both TRS and HAPs emissions.

The Consent Decree is now subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to entry. Comments on the document may be sent to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States v. Clearwater Paper Corporation, D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-2-1-10620. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

  • By email: pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov.
  • By mail: Assistant Attorney General, U.S.DOJ--ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, D.C. 20044-7611.
For a copy of the consent decree: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

For more about the National Enforcement Initiative to cut Hazardous Air Pollutants: http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/national-enforcement-initiative-cutting-hazardous-air-pollutants