November 16, 2006
Official Statement from GovernorJim Douglas
Regarding International Paper’s Decision to Halt Test Burn
I am very pleased that International Paper (IP) has decided to end its test of tire-derived fuel. The test results from three different input levels have been very close to the limits authorized by its permit. Today the company decided those results were too high and ceased burning tire-derived fuel completely.
For the last three years, I have strongly urged IP to install appropriate state-of-the-art pollution controls before any test burn was considered. It is my hope now that IP will install such equipment should it attempt any further use of tire-derived fuel.
I pledged that I would hold IP accountable for the results of this test and I am pleased that they have finally made the right decision.
The State of Vermont has been pursuing every legal option available to block plans by International Paper's Ticonderoga plant to burn tires for fuel.
On November 3, the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City denied Vermont's request to stop the burn, scheduled for November 6.
Without state-of-the-art pollution controls in place at the plant, the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation have activated systems to monitor the burn for health and environmental effects.
The Health Department is working closely with area hospitals, health care providers and the Department of Environmental Conservation to monitor the burn as closely as possible. If there is any indication of a problem, the Health Department will alert the public immediately through the news media and partner organizations.
To monitor the burn, the Health Department began a six-week medical surveillance program in partnership with:
- Fletcher Allen Health Care
- Rutland Regional Medical Center
- Porter Medical Center
- Clinics in Addison County
Medical surveillance began October 23 and will continue during the two weeks of the burn, and for two weeks following the burn.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will monitor the burn and the air quality at two stations in Vermont using sophisticated measuring equipment. Monitoring will take place 24 hours a day during each day of the burn for particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, zinc and 13 other potentially toxic metals. The Department of Environmental Conservation will also have an observer on site at the plant throughout the burn.
11/03/06 - Court Denies Vermont Request to Halt IP Test Burn (pdf)
11/02/06 - Letter to area schools (pdf)
11/01/06 - Advisory to Area Physicians (pdf)
- Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Hospital Admission for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Diseases - Journal of the American Medical Association
- Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Air Pollution and Selected Causes of Postneonatal Infant Mortality in California - Environmental Health Perspectives
- Air pollution and cardiac and respiratory function in three groups of patients - From Pub Med, a service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
- Reduction in Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Mortality - American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
- Vermont Office of the Attorney General - documents relative to the IP tire burn appeal