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Flintkote Co. v. Pollution Control Bd.

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 4, 1977.

THE FLINTKOTE COMPANY, PETITIONER,

v.

THE POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



PETITION for review of order of Pollution Control Board.

MR. JUSTICE JONES DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied November 14, 1977.

This is a petition pursuant to section 41 of the Environmental Protection Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 111 1/2, par. 1041) for review of orders of the Pollution Control Board entered in their cause number PCB 75-381 on January 8, 1976, and February 19, 1976. The cause is concerned with the extension of a variance order previously granted by the Board but upon conditions more restrictive than those previously set. Petitioner contends the conditions are not justified or permitted by the evidence before the Board. We consider the case to be controlled by Monsanto Co. v. Pollution Control Board, 67 Ill.2d 276, filed March 1977, and accordingly affirm as to the conditions imposed.

Petitioner operates a mill at Mt. Carmel, Illinois that processes pulp wood, waste paper, and other materials into a felt product used in the manufacture of roofing materials. The wood fibers and waste paper containing different types of chemicals are mixed with water and turned into a slurry which is fed into the manufacturing system until reaching forming machines to make the paper felt. The slurry is carried as fibers in the water which deposit it in a web or endless belt, the process water going back into the system. Prior to the abatement program petitioner discharged between 500,000 and 700,000 gallons per day of effluent containing 3,600 gallons of deoxygenating wastes (BOD

) per day and 4,000 pounds of suspended solids per day into the Wabash River.

The discharges into the Wabash River have been the subject of three previous proceedings before the Board culminating with the Flintkote Co. v. Environmental Protection Agency, PCB 75-89. The proceedings, testimony and exhibits taken in all of these cases including the Board's finding of facts and orders entered in each of the cases were made a part of the evidence in the instant case. Prior to an order of the Board entered on May 10, 1973, petitioner had not recycled any of its processed water. The May 10, 1973, order referred to and incorporated a stipulation and settlement in which petitioner agreed to undertake a two-phase compliance program which, when completed, would bring petitioner's operation into compliance with the Act and the Board's water pollution regulations. The first phase of the program, the mechanical construction phase, was ordered to be completed within 13 months and 10 days of the date of the order. Phase I was completed on schedule in June of 1974. It achieved a 75% reduction in the daily flow of waste water to the Wabash River, a reduction of BOD

discharged to 2,800 pounds per day and a reduction of suspended solids to 250 to 500 pounds per day. These levels were reached by recycling most of the process water through the felt product itself, thereby using the felt as a filter to trap impurities in the water and maximizing utilization of raw materials.

Phase II of the abatement program commenced immediately upon the completion of phase I. The goal of this phase was the total recycling of the process water in a closed system with no discharge of waste into the Wabash River. Because of the experimental nature of phase II petitioner was granted a variance in PCB 74-89 until October 5, 1975, to complete the work on the system. The variance granted was from section 12(a) of the Environmental Protection Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 111 1/2, par. 1012(a)), Rules Nos. 203(a), 402, 403, 404(a)(ii) and 404(b)(ii), of the Illinois Pollution Control Board. The variance order was granted upon the following (pertinent) conditions:

"2. (b) Flintkote's effluent, with the exception of cyanide and mercury, shall not, at any time, exceed 5 times, on either a grab or composite sample basis, the numerical standards provided in Rule 408(a); and

(d) Flintkote's discharge of 408(a) contaminants shall not cause a violation of Rules 203(f)

and 402 of the Water Regulations in the Wabash River; and

3. Flintkote's waste water discharge during this variance shall be limited to:

(a) 125,000 gallons per day;

(b) 250 pounds per day of suspended solids as a monthly average, not to exceed 500 ...


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