Government of New Brunswick

Pulp and Paper Boilers Burning Salt-Laden Wood

General Accountability:
In New Brunswick, the implementation of Canada-Wide Standards for new and existing pulp and paper boilers burning salt-laden wood will be achieved by incorporating the Canada-Wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans into the conditions of individual facilities’ Approvals to Operate issued under the Air Quality Regulation - Clean Air Act.

Milestones and Deliverables:
Currently, only one of New Brunswick’s ten pulp and paper mills burns salt-laden wood. The burning of such salt-laden wood is the result of an old hogged fuel pile located on the facility property, which was generated when logs were floated to the mill many years ago. The facility no longer receives wood in this manner, nor is any salt-laden wood purchased. Currently, this hogged fuel is blended in small quantities with other woodwastes with a view to eliminating the pile. It is anticipated that the pile of salt-laden wood at this facility will be eliminated by the end of 2004.

It is anticipated that the Approvals to Operate issued under the Air Quality Regulation for all pulp and paper mills will, upon their renewal or at least within one year in advance of the CWS compliance date, include conditions prohibiting the burning of salt-laden wood, as a means to achieving compliance with the Canada-Wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans.

Public Role:
Under the Clean Air Act, a public participation process must be conducted for the issuance of Approvals to Operate for all major facilities (termed “Class 1” facilities). Under these processes, public feedback is solicited through the provision of information on the Department’s Web site and also in hard copy. Meetings with stakeholders may also be arranged as needed to provide a forum for discussion and obtain feedback on the facility’s proposed conditions of approval.

Access to Information:
All Approvals to Operate issued under the Air Quality Regulation – Clean Air Act must be maintained in a Public Register, which is available in all regional offices of the Department. In addition, information relating to Class 1 facilities is made available on the Department’s Web site. Facility-specific performance information may be made available to the general public upon request. In some cases, larger facilities may be required through the conditions of their approvals to establish local “advisory” committees with specified stakeholders including concerned citizens, where relevant facility information may be obtained.

Verifiable Progress:
Given that the burning of salt-laden wood in pulp and paper boilers will be prohibited in New Brunswick by the time the Canada-Wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans become effective in 2006, no stack testing, emissions reporting or other measures are envisioned at this time. Pulp and paper mills will be closely monitored to ensure compliance with this prohibition, and enforcement options will be considered in the unlikely event of non-compliance with these provisions.

By phasing out the burning of salt-laden wood in pulp and paper boilers, it is expected that beneficial air quality benefits will be achieved mainly with respect to dioxin and furan emissions. However, it is possible that increased thermal efficiencies may be achieved as a result of no longer burning decaying hogged fuel having a high moisture content, which would likely result in emission reductions of other air contaminants as well.