According to multiple local media reports, a new order from South Carolina environmental officials is solving one of four disputes between the New-Indy Containerboard paper mill, the state health department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Catawba, South Carolina manufacturing plant has been under scrutiny for allegedly producing a foul odor that can be smelled in neighboring communities.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will require New-Indy to take specific actions by specific deadlines to resolve one dispute among all parties involved. The plant must increase pollution control equipment to prevent further problems, according to the order. New-Indy must also improve its wastewater treatment system after South Carolina DHEC officials found the company failed to maintain it in good condition due to a build-up of sludge.
In addition to changes that must be made to the plant, New-Indy must also pay a civil penalty of $129,360 to DHEC.
People living near the Catawba-based paper mill have complained about foul smells going back to 2020. Citizens in York and Lancaster counties described the smell as “paper mill, rotten egg, chemical, sewage, etc.” State investigators began digging into those complaints in March 2021.
Now, New-Indy says new requirements by the state will fix many of the concerns. Residents disagree. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the plant.
New-Indy has released the following statement: “New-Indy Catawba is pleased to have reached an agreement with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to resolve issues of concern. New-Indy Catawba personnel have worked diligently with state regulators over the past year to develop a plan that will both benefit and protect the community surrounding the facility. The mill’s ongoing investment in cutting edge technologies has successfully kept hydrogen sulfide emissions negligible or zero for many months. This agreement will help ensure that future emissions continue to follow this trend.”
New-Indy Containerboard is joint venture between The Kraft Group and Schwarz Partners LP. The company name was derived from being the Newest Independent manufacturer and supplier of recycled containerboard in the corrugated box industry. With nearly 2,000 employees from Southern California to Carolinas, New-Indy plays an integral role in the everyday lives of people across the country with its innovative packaging solutions.