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Weyerhaeuser Company

Final Project Agreement Fact Sheet

Weyerhaeuser FPA Fact Sheet




EPA, the State of Georgia and Weyerhaeuser are implementing a Project XL agreement to pursue Minimum Impact Manufacturing at Weyerhaeuser's Flint River pulp mill. Under today's XL agreement, the facility, which is already an environmental leader in many respects, will strive towards an ever-shrinking impact on the Flint River and surrounding environment.

The Weyerhaeuser Flint River Facility: The facility is a state-of-the-art mill producing 320,000 tons per year of fluff pulp, the absorbent component of diapers. The mill, located in Oglethorpe, Georgia, opened in 1981. Today it employs 500 people and contributes $75 million annually to the Georgia economy. Minimum impact manufacturing has been part of Flint River's management philosophy for many years. The facility voluntarily installed oxygen delignification technology (a pollution prevention process to reduce the need for bleaching chemicals) in 1980 and 100% chlorine dioxide substitution and bleaching in 1989. The facility was designed from the start to use less water than most mills of its kind. In addition, the mill emits significantly less total reduced sulfur (the cause of most paper mill's odor) than other Kraft pulp and paper mills located in Georgia. As a result of the facility's environmental record, Flint River Operations was the benchmark for many of EPA's industry-wide effluent guidelines and best management practices. The mill already meets tough post-2000 industry water pollution standards proposed by EPA.

Environmental Benefits of Today's XL Agreement: Today's XL agreement will produce dramatic reductions in pollution on the Flint River, a crucial environmental resource to local stakeholders who participated in the development of the project. The project will result in a reduction in water usage to about 10 million gallons daily, as compared to the industry average of 25 million gallons per day. Among the targeted benefits of today's XL agreement are:

A Basis for Further Environmental Improvement: Progress toward minimum impact on the environment will not end with these targets and commitments. Today's XL agreement also launches a collaborative effort to create feasible new technologies that will move the facility further toward minimum impact manufacturing, to further reduce bleach plant effluent, energy and water use, and emissions of hazardous air pollutants, and to foster timber conservation. This effort will also address consumers, whose demand for whiteness in the mill's product is the most significant barrier to Minimum Impact Manufacturing. We invite environmental and consumer groups, the forest products industry, and others to participate in this effort so that lessons learned at Flint River can be transferred to other plants in the industry.

Weyerhaeuser will also implement an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001, the most up-to-date voluntary standards and guidelines, that incorporates continuous improvement towards an ever-shrinking impact on the environment into every-day life at Flint River.

Regulation that Supports Minimum Impact Manufacturing: EPA and the State of Georgia have agreed to propose changes in the rules that apply to the facility to support minimum impact manufacturing. These include:

Development of the Weyerhaeuser XL Project: Weyerhaeuser submitted its XL proposal to EPA on September 8, 1995. The proposal was accepted into the XL program on December 14, 1995. Over the course of 10 months, a team of Weyerhaeuser representatives and state and federal regulators worked together to develop a draft agreement. During the process, the team consulted with a group of local stakeholders and national environmental organizations. The draft agreement was published for public review and comment in the Federal Register and local media on October 9, 1996. Those who offered comments critical of the project were consulted further. While not all issues were resolved to the satisfaction of the commenters, important changes were made as a result of the comment process. A complete project history, including meeting summaries, early versions of the final project agreement, project contacts, and a summary of public comments can be found on the Project XL home page at https://www.epa.gov/ProjectXL.

History of the XL Program: Project XL was launched by President Clinton in 1995 to create innovations for 21st Century environmental protection. To help create these innovations, EPA, state environmental agencies, and regulated sources develop and implement alternative strategies that replace or modify specific regulatory requirements, produce superior environmental performance, and promote greater accountability to stakeholders. Today's agreement with Weyerhaeuser is the third XL project implemented to date, following Berry Corporation in Florida in June, 1996, and Intel Corporation in Arizona in November, 1996.

Contacts: As part of the ongoing stakeholder involvement in the implementation of today's XL agreement, EPA wants to hear from you. Comments or questions on this project may be submitted to:

Ms. Michelle M. Glenn

Weyerhaeuser Project XL Lead

US EPA, WD - 10th Floor

100 Alabama Street, S.W.

Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3104

You may also telephone Ms. Glenn at (404) 562-8674. Her fax number is (404) 562-8628, and her e-mail address is glenn.michelle@epamail.epa.gov. Additional information on this project and Project XL can be found on the World Wide Web at https://www.epa.gov/ProjectXL. General information on Project XL is also available from Mr. Chris Knopes at 202-260-9298.

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