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Pactiv Evergreen Accused of Chemical Dumping

The Pactiv Evergreen paper mill in Canton is under scrutiny for allegations of illegal disposal of chemicals into the wastewater system. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reports this was occurring during the recent shutdown process of the plant. According to DEQ officials, the mill committed three violations concerning chemical dumping into the wastewater treatment system. The violations involve unauthorized discharges into state waters – improper outlets that operated without a permit. Additionally, the mill has violated mitigation and duty obligations. The origin of these violations is credited to a complaint in early June. This complaint alleges mill workers were improperly disposing of sodium hydroxide solution and calcium hypochlorite into the wastewater system. Over the following days, there was disagreement between the mill and the DEQ’s Water Resources Division on what actions were permitted and what were not. In a letter from the DEQ to the paper mill, the mill defended its actions, arguing that virgin chemicals could be legally disposed of through the wastewater system, claiming that it had met permit requirements. The company now has 10 days to respond to the DEQ. Should the company fail to address these claims adequately, Pactiv Evergreen could potentially face steep fines. The penalties could amount to up to $25,000 per day, for each violation.

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