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New-Indy back in court after claims of continued toxic emissions

CATAWBA, S.C. (From news reports) -- New-Indy Containerboard, a paper and pulp processing center in Catawba, South Carolina, was in a federal appeals court in Virginia Thursday.

Residents nearby have put pressure on the plant, claiming it has continued to release an excessive amount of gas, which they believe is toxic and goes against the Clean Air Act.

Enrique Lizano is one of the residents involved in the suit against the plant. He and others have focused on the emission of hydrogen sulfide, which is a bi-product dispensed from making paper.

Local media has spoken to residents who live near the plant and many have said they have health problems from the emissions. Many have said they have problems breathing and it has impacted their sight at times.

In previous reporting from May of 2021, the EPA issued an emergency order to reduce the emission of the potentially dangerous gas. Later, the EPA sent a letter to New Indy that highlighted 19 potential violations of the Clean Air Act.

In court Thursday, the attorney representing the residents said, years later, the gas is still impacting their health.

The EPA said the plant has not violated the latest consent decree, which limited how much hydrogen sulfate it can pump out over a period of time. New-Indy added that there's no standard set by the EPA for emitting the gas when it comes to paper and pulp plants. New-Indy also said there's no evidence that the gas is hazardous.

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