Document:

From the Washington State Department of Ecology
http://www.wa.gov:80/ecology/



Bleached Pulp and Paper Mills

Background

Seven mills in Washington currently produce bleached pulp and/or paper. An eighth, the Rayonier Mill in Port Angeles, ceased operation in 1997. A ninth, Longview Fiber, no longer operates a bleach plant. In the early 1990s, Washington mills shifted from chlorine bleaching to chlorine dioxide bleaching which decreased the production and release of dioxins. This section addresses the dioxin loads associated with wastewater discharges from these facilities.

As process wastewaters are treated, sludges (which can also contain dioxins) are generated. One facility, the Boise Cascade Mill in Wallula, composts its sludge for subsequent on-site land application. A second facility, the Weyerhaeuser Mill in Longview, landfills its sludge. The other mills burn their sludges in hog-fuel boilers.

Although all of the mills have hog-fuel boilers, this section focuses on dioxin loads associated with the bleached pulp and paper process.

Table 7 summarizes loading data, facility status, and solid waste disposition informa-tion for bleached pulp and paper mills. Each of these categories is discussed below.

Table 7. Bleached Pulp and Paper Mill Loads, Facility Status, and Solid Waste Disposition

Bleached Pulp

and Paper Mills

Load to (mg TEQ/day)

Air Water Land Total

Facility Status

Solid Waste Disposition

Rayonier Pulp and Paper, Port Angeles

 

4.9

 

4.9

Closed

 

Weyerhaeuser Pulp and Paper, Longview

 

0.13

1.8

1.9

Active

Sludge disposed of in private landfill.

Fort James Pulp and Paper, Camas

 

1.9

 

1.9

Active

 

Georgia-Pacific Pulp and Paper, Bellingham

 

1.7

 

1.7

Active

 

Boise Cascade Pulp and Paper, Wallula

 

0.76

0.081

0.84

Active

Sludge is both composted and landfilled on site.

Longview Fiber Pulp and Paper, Longview

 

0.71

 

0.71

Active

 

Kimberly-Clark Pulp and Paper, Everett

 

0.40

 

0.40

Active

 

Weyerhaeuser Pulp and Paper, Cosmopolis

 

0.20

 

0.20

Active

 

Simpson Kraft Pulp and Paper, Tacoma

 

0.00

 

0.00

Active

 

Total

 

10.7

1.9

12.6

   

Loading Data

Bleached pulp and paper mills are required to treat and test their wastewater prior to discharge. Since 1991 treated effluent from these mills has been tested for 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF. Wastewater treatment sludges have been tested for the same two congeners. Results have been reported to Ecology’s Industrial Section (McCall, 1997). Because of these testing requirements, data for this source category are relatively complete. However, the monitoring requires testing for only 2 of the
17 toxic dioxin and furan congeners; calculated TEQ loads probably underestimate actual TEQ loads.

Table 7 summarizes the dioxin loads determined by averaging all the loads calculated for each facility.

Most of the data (summarized in Appendix Table A-5) are "self-reported". In general, these self-reported data represent conditions at the mills after they were required to institute dioxin control measures including 1) minimizing the introduction of dioxin precursors into the pulping and bleaching sequences, and 2) minimizing the use of elemental chlorine by substitution with chlorine dioxide.

All dioxin loads associated with bleached pulp and paper mills are included in Appendix Table A-3. These include self-reported data, as well as loads calculated for a limited number of other effluent tests. These additional tests include data from Ecology compliance monitoring inspections, as well as several tests conducted at the Rayonier Mill in Port Angeles between 1990 and 1994. These latter tests were reported in a summary of information about the mill prepared for Rayonier by Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation (1997) as the mill prepared to close.

As noted above, the self-reported data for the bleached pulp and paper mills are restricted to two congeners: TCDD and TCDF. Because 15 congeners with TEFs were not included in self-reported data, the TEQ loads associated with these data probably underestimate full TEQ loads from these sources. As an example, Figure 4 shows the relative percentages of the full TEQ contributed by the TCDD and TCDF for wastewater and sludge as calculated using the data (Foster Wheeler, 1997) for the Rayonier mill in Port Angeles. Similar graphs for air emissions and ash are shown for comparison purposes.

Figure 4.

Dispersion

Dioxin loads discharged to water have the potential to be widely dispersed.

One mill (Boise Cascade, Wallula) composts its sludge, and is, on a trial basis, applying it to an on-site cottonwood plantation (Le, 1998b). A second mill, Weyerhaeuser (Longview) disposes of its sludge in a privately owned landfill. Other mills burn wastewater sludges in their hog-fuel boilers. Overall, the potential for the dispersion of dioxins associated with sludges is variable.

National Rank

EPA (1994), using a different methodology than the one used here, provides estimates that rank bleached pulp and paper as the fourth largest source category nationally. This category is likely to be relatively more important in Washington State than nationally, because pulp and paper bleaching represents a relatively large portion of Washington State commerce. The EPA assessment could also present a somewhat different picture than our assessment because:

Summary – Bleached Pulp and Paper

Bleached Pulp and Paper

 

Air

Water

Land

Overall/Total

Data Coverage

 

9 of 91

2 of 21

100%1

Confirmed Loads (mg/ TEQ/day)

 

10.7

1.9

12.6

Dispersion Potential

 

high

variable

high/variable

Active vs. closed: 1 closed; others active

Estimated national rank: 4th

Importance of obtaining additional data: Medium

Rationale: Of all the source categories addressed in this assessment, wastewater-related discharges from bleached pulp and paper production have been measured and reported most often. This is the only facility category with requirements for frequent discharge monitoring. On the other hand, this monitoring requires testing for only 2 of the
17 dioxin/furan congeners with TEFs. Only a few tests results are available that provide data for the full range of toxic congeners.

Importance of additional source control: Medium

Rationale: The estimated overall load (12.6 mg TEQ/day) associated with bleached pulp and paper production is moderate in comparison to other source categories for which data are available. The mill with the largest average load is no longer operating. Data for this source category appear to be more complete than for many other categories. Bleached pulp and paper production rated 4th overall in EPA’s national dioxin source assessment; it is likely to be relatively more important in Washington State. Actions taken in the early 1990s have decreased dioxin loads from the mills.

The relationship between sludge burning and dioxin destruction/production is not well quantified.