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Oconto Falls Company Settles State Lawsuit Over Air Pollution Violations for $85,000


OCONTO - ST Paper LLC, which owns and operates a tissue-making facility on East Central Avenue in Oconto Falls, has agreed to pay $85,000 to settle state claims under Wisconsin's air pollution laws.


Under Wisconsin law, ST Paper is required to obtain and follow a permit that controls the emissions of pollutants from the facility.  The complaint charges that ST Paper operated in violation of its permit by failing to maintain records of required weekly tissue machine filter inspections and replacements, to maintain records of physical stack parameters and to comply with a stack diameter limit, to submit semi-annual monitoring reports, to identify these and other deviations from permit requirements in 2006 and 2007, and to pay permit fees in 2003 and 2004.


According to the complaint, the Oconto facility is in a mixed land use area, making the identification and resolution of violations particularly important.  Upon discovery by the Department of Natural Resources of the violations during an inspection, ST Paper promptly took steps to correct the violations and retained a new consultant to ensure continued environmental compliance.  According to the complaint, ST Paper has made environmental reporting the direct responsibility of the facility manager.


"ST Paper cooperated with the Department of Natural Resources and took prompt and complete steps to ensure future compliance with permit requirements designed to protect the public from harmful air emissions," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's citizens and natural resources are protected through compliance with the law."


Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case.  Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Judge approved the settlement.