Timeline

2021 – 2022 Mill Operations Timeline

Prior to 2020, the New-Indy Catawba mill produced mostly white paper, which was used by customers to print magazines, catalogs and similar materials. Last year, New-Indy converted portions of the mill to manufacture unbleached containerboard, which is used by customers to produce various packaging products. The mill was completely offline from May to September 2020 during the conversion process. The first stage of restarting production began in December and by February 1, 2021, the mill had restored operations. On February 8, 2021, New-Indy Catawba LLC sent DHEC a letter notifying it that New-Indy Catawba began operations of all equipment except the No. 2 Paper Machine within 15 days prior to that letter.

2021

Week of: February 1
  • Began market-grade production of material via PM3

Feb

Week of: February 1

Week of: March 1

Mar

Week of: March 1
  • Began ASB surface solids removal
  • Established Community Service Line for call-ins

Week of: March 8
  • Full mill odor survey conducted by external consultant

Mar

Week of: March 8

Week of: April 5

Apr

Week of: April 5
  • Installed on-site H2S monitors for informational purposes

Week of: April 19
  • Oxygen transfer supplementation in ASB (calcium nitrate)

Apr

Week of: April 19

Week of: May 3

May

Week of: May 3
  • Brought foul condensate steam stripper back into service
Week of: May 10
  • Optimized calcium nitrate supplementation (split feed)
  • Enhanced surface solids removal in ASB

May

Week of: May 10

Week of: May 24

May

Week of: May 24
  • Installed on-site fence line H2S monitors in accordance with EPA regulations
  • Activated company landing page

Week of: June 7
  • Installed PAB cover & carbon filter
  • Activated two aerators in Holding Pond 1; began peroxide treatment
  • Added hydrogen peroxide and liquid oxygen to the ASB inlet

Jun

Week of: June 7

Week of: June 14

Jun

Week of: June 14
  • Continued surface solids removal from ASB
  • Added ferric chloride to Holding Pond 1 influent ditch
  • Initiated hydrogen peroxide addition to Holding Pond 1
Week of: June 21
  • Continued surface solids removal from ASB

Jun

Week of: June 21

Week of: June 28

Jun

Week of: June 28
  • Installed New-Indy offsite H2S monitors
  • Initial New-Indy Catawba Community Engagement Group (CEG) meeting
Weeks of: July 12 & July 19
  • Continued surface solids removal and aerator repairs

Jul

Weeks of: July 12 & July 19

Week of: August 9

Aug

Week of: August 9
  • CEG meeting and tour of the mill

Week of: September 13
  • Initiated the use of a second dredge unit on the ASB to continue the removal of sub-surface solids
  • CEG meeting with presentations from toxicologist and wastewater treatment expert

Sep

Week of: September 13

Week of: September 27

Sep

Week of: September 27
  • Commenced EQ Basin solids removal with an excavator
Week of: October 18
  • CEG meeting with presentations on air dispersion modeling and community outreach

Oct

Week of: October 18

Week of: October 25

Oct

Week of: October 25
  • Initiated operation of a hydrogen peroxide diffuser running the length of #1 Holding Pond
Week of: November 15
  • CEG meeting with presentation on New-Indy’s Voluntary Cleanup Contract (VCC) and the environmental assessment New-Indy Catawba made just prior to its acquisition of the Catawba mill

Nov

Week of: November 15

Week of: December 13

Dec

Week of: December 13
  • CEG meeting with site and communications updates and a tour of the mill
  • NALCO Odortech system installed (Naturally reduces hydrogen sulfide and associated odors).

2022

Week of: January 24
  • CEG meeting with a facility tour and presentation to media about the mill’s remediation efforts. All visitors received a full explanation of the many improvements made to the facility. These included upgrades to the wastewater treatment system and other efforts to keep hydrogen sulfide emissions minimal or zero, as they have been for months.

Jan

Week of: January 24

Week of: February 21

Feb

Week of: February 21
  • Initiated oxygen addition to the ASB effluent.
Week of: February 28
  • CEG meeting with a presentation on misconceptions vs. reality on the New-Indy Catawba mill. Topics included air pollutants, the foul condensate steam stripper, carbon tetrachloride, methyl mercaptan, and dioxins. The presentation showed that the facility complies with state and federal air regulations, that the mill’s wastewater treatment system is closely monitored by the company and state and federal agencies to ensure compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

Feb

Week of: February 28

Week of: March 27

Mar

Week of: March 27
  • Initiated oxygen addition to the primary clarifier.
Week of: April 4
  • CEG meeting with NALCO employees presenting a corporate overview and explain the company’s core capabilities. They also described the technical aspect surrounding NALCO’s odor control program and other technologies being utilized at the mill that are saving water, fiber, and energy.

Apr

Week of: April 4

Week of: April 11

Apr

Week of: April 11
  • Initiated ferric chloride addition to the primary clarifier underflow.
Week of: May 16
  • CEG meeting with presentation from an environmental engineer on Subpart S and New-Indy Catawba’s regulatory compliance over the last two years. The presenter explained how New-Indy complies with National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Subpart S through monthly visual inspections of the closed collection system and annual leak monitoring related to pulping condensates collection and treatment. Under the EPA’s NESHAP Subpart S, New-Indy was required to perform an initial compliance test within 180 days of the startup of unbleached operations which was conducted in June and July of 2021.

May

Week of: May 16

Week of: June 20

Jun

Week of: June 20
  • Began operating a turbulator in the ASB, which pulls oxygen from above the water surface down a steel chute to oxygenate below the surface of water. This not only allows the dredging equipment to be primarily used in the south end of the ASB but serves the same purpose of adding oxygen to the water.

Week of: June 27
  • Installed permanent PAB cover and filter system, which operates aerators continuously to ensure an adequate level of dissolved oxygen is present before effluent reaches the Catawba River.
  • CEG meeting with presentation from a toxicologist provided on New-Indy Catawba’s summa cannister testing, which included analysis for methyl mercaptan. Samples for total reduced sulfur (TRS), including methyl mercaptan, were collected from three different locations over four days in four consecutive weeks in April 2022, totaling 96 samples. The analysis showed non-detect status for methyl mercaptan. New-Indy Catawba’s environmental manager summarized a June 3 weather event that caused damage to the facility and the fence-line monitoring stations. New-Indy Catawba’s response was rapid and all H2S air monitoring and meteorological stations returned to full operation by June 8.

Jun

Week of: June 27

Abbreviation Key

 

Abbreviation Meaning Functional Description
ASB Aeration Stabilization Basin Biological stabilization of wastewater organics
CEG Community Engagement Group Build trust and confidence with local citizens and other stakeholders and establish an effective and regular dialogue with the local community
EPA Environmental Protection Agency US environmental agency
EQ Basin Equalization Stabilization Basin Used as a means of buffering or equalizing the characteristics of wastewater prior to entering the wastewater treatment system
H2S Hydrogen Sulfide Chemical targeted for ambient air monitoring
PAB Post Aeration Basin Final aeration polishing basin prior to discharge to Catawba River
PM3 Paper Machine 3 Production equipment where linerboard is made from pulp slurry
SCDHEC South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control South Carolina state environmental agency