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Improving Air Quality

Each of Glatfelter’s manufacturing facilities has air quality permits issued by federal, state or local governments that govern the quality of air emissions to protect the local community and environment. Glatfelter is committed to not only complying with these permits, but reducing air emissions to even lower levels when practical.

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Air Emissions–Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
Per Unit of Production
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Air Emissions–Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Per Unit of Production
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At Glatfelter, we use a variety of monitoring methods to ensure that we are complying with our air quality permits. These methods range from relatively complicated continuous emission monitoring systems that sample the quality of air emissions 24/7 to periodic stack testing for specific pollutants.

We are committed to minimizing air pollution from steam and pulp production and papermaking as well as ancillary operations such as transportation and converting operations.

Air Quality Improvement Initiatives

  • Converting coal to natural gas in our Spring Grove, PA, and Chillicothe, OH, facilities.
  • Using renewable energy, such as lignin and wood residuals, during the papermaking process.
  • Making full use of raw materials.
  • Incorporating less toxic chemicals.
  • Using less fossil fuels.
  • Implementing more efficient production processes.
  • Utilizing post-consumer recycled fiber content in paper and paper products to meet customer requirements.
  • Increasing the use of other recovered materials.
  • Practicing responsible fiber sourcing.

North American Improvement Projects

New process equipment, installed at both North American mills over the past two decades, helps to reduce our environmental impact.

Most recently, we have made a significant operational change to ensure we comply with current and future environmental rules, particularly to reduce potentially harmful air emissions. Beginning in 2015, Glatfelter invested more than $100 million in new technology and systems to reduce emissions. With this investment, we have shut down our coal-fired boilers and replaced them with natural gas-fired boilers.

This is expected to result in a 90-percent reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions and a 40-percent reduction in our facilities’ nitrogen oxide emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels will be reduced by approximately 60 percent. With natural gas replacing coal as a fuel source, the generation of large volumes of coal ash will be eliminated, and it will eliminate the exhaust emissions and traffic problems generated by thousands of heavy trucks traveling through our communities each year.

The conversion to natural gas also means we will meet the requirements of federal “Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology” and Regional Haze “Best Available Retrofit Technology” rules, which are aimed at reducing air emissions, including coal-based emissions.

Historical Improvements:

At the mill in Spring Grove, PA, the Pulp Mill Modernization Project was completed between 1990 and 1995, and included the following pieces of equipment and process changes:

  • New low-odor recovery boiler.
  • New woodyard.
  • New chlorine dioxide generator.
  • Substituting chlorine dioxide for elemental chlorine in the bleaching process.
  • Substituting hydrogen peroxide for sodium hypochlorite in the bleaching process.
  • Using oxygen delignification in the softwood pulping process to reduce the need for bleaching chemicals.
The New Century Project (2000 – 2004) included the following equipment and process changes:
  • Completely eliminated the use of all elemental chlorine in the manufacturing process.
  • Using oxygen delignification in the hardwood pulping process to reduce the need for bleaching chemicals.
  • Installing a system to capture and destroy hazardous and odorous emissions from the pulping and recovery processes.
At our facility in Chillicothe, OH, we also made significant improvements, including:
  • Substituting chlorine dioxide for elemental chlorine in the bleaching process.
  • Installing Wet Electrostatic Precipitator on the wood-fired boiler.
  • Installing a system to capture and destroy hazardous and odorous emissions from the pulping and recovery processes.

NCASI Member

National Council for Air and Stream Improvement As a member of National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, we support NCASI’s scientific research and information gathering activities. Through payment of annual dues we are able to access a wealth of environmental information, including research reports, current awareness letters on emerging environmental issues, newsletters, handbooks, workshops, and technical meetings.

NCASI also responds to requests for technical assistance in areas such as permitting, environmental reporting, interpretation of regulations, application of environmental control technology, sustainable forestry, analytical methods and related areas.

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