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Marathon County Company Settles State Lawsuit Over Air Pollution Violations for $95,000


WAUSAU - Fiber Recovery Inc., which owns and operates a paper mill screening processing facility at R18500 East Highway 29 in Ringle, has agreed to pay $95,000 to settle state claims under Wisconsin's air pollution laws.   

The Fiber Recovery facility turns paper mill screenings into paper and wood pellets that are sold as boiler fuel.  Fiber Recovery uses landfill gas-fired generators as part of its production process.  Under Wisconsin law, Fiber Recovery is required to obtain and follow a permit that controls the emissions of air pollutants from the facility.  In 2007 the Department of Natural Resources issued Fiber Recovery a permit that authorized construction and initial operation of three landfill gas-fired generators and modification and initial operation of a wood/paper pelletizing dryer. 


According to the complaint, Fiber Recovery violated its air permit by failing timely to perform testing of the stack that vents the emissions from the generators and dryer, exceeding the nitrogen oxide limit during one testing, failing to update its Malfunction Prevention and Abatement Plan to include the new generators and modified dryer, failing to sample the sulfur content in the screenings, failing to maintain accurate technical drawings for facility stacks, and failing to use its hourly logs of landfill gas used to tally daily and monthly usage.  Fiber Recovery also violated state regulations when it dried a test load of sludge without a research and testing exemption.  Fiber Recovery has since shown compliance with all permit limits, and corrected all sampling and recordkeeping deficiencies. 


"Fiber Recovery has properly acted 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.  Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Brady approved the settlement.