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.
Week of: February 1
Week of: March 1
- Full mill odor survey conducted by external consultant
Week of: March 8
Week of: April 5
Week of: April 19
Week of: May 3
- Brought foul condensate steam stripper back into service
- Optimized calcium nitrate supplementation (split feed)
- Enhanced surface solids removal in ASB
Week of: May 10
Week of: May 24
Week of: June 7
Week of: June 14
Week of: June 21
Week of: June 28
- Continued surface solids removal and aerator repairs
Weeks of: July 12 & July 19
Week of: August 9
Week of: September 13
Week of: September 27
- CEG meeting with presentations on air dispersion modeling and community outreach
Week of: October 18
Week of: October 25
- Initiated operation of a hydrogen peroxide diffuser running the length of #1 Holding Pond
- 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
Week of: November 15
Week of: December 13
- 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.
Week of: January 24
Week of: February 21
- 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.
Week of: February 28
Week of: March 27
- Initiated oxygen addition to the primary clarifier.
- 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.
Week of: April 4
Week of: April 11
- Initiated ferric chloride addition to the primary clarifier underflow.
- 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.
Week of: May 16
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.
- 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.
Week of: June 27
|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|