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Sat, Jun 22, 2024 14:53
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Responding to Jim Thompson's third party column


Read your Nip Impressions article on third party environmental help at the mill level. It reminded me of the Prattville Kraft Paper Mill's environmental process in the 90's.

First, we had an outstanding environmental engineering manager who kept up to speed on federal activities that impacted the paper industry. She was essentially the authority on air and water quality in this local area.

Second, she had a good relationship with the Alabama environmental folk (ADEM) and basically advised them on the federal requirements and helped implement the regs for Alabama. Did she lean in favor of mill operations? Of course. But the process helped establish state implementation rules and time lines that mills could live with.

Third, she involved the mill managers in impacted departments to get realistic implementation plans for new requirements. This was a significant step because few of the expenses actually improved paper production. In fact they increased operating costs. They just allowed us to stay in business.

Today's large paper companies may make this kind of coordination more difficult with increased corporate oversight and control. If a company decides to implement your third party environmental plan, the difficulty may be getting local buy in.

Thanks for making Friday morning a little more interesting for this old man.

Gene Canavan

Gene Canavan is a retired West Point Graduate and Paper Mill Utilities Manager and lives in Prattville, Alabama, USA.


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