Background Information:
International Paper Company Ticonderoga, NY

Plant converts 4.8 million lbs. trees into 1.6 million lbs. of paper per day.

Uses 16 million gallons of water per day.

Produces 40 megawatts of electricity per day (almost enough to power every household in Rutland VT).

International Paper is currently one of the regions largest polluters reporting toxic releases of over 400,000 lbs. of hazardous pollution every year. VPIRG points out that this is more than twice the total reported toxic releases for all of Vermont.

History: (More detailed history click here)


International Paper Company has a poor record of disclosing information and compliance with environmental regulations.

Over the last 30 years the International Paper Company Mill at Ticonderoga has routinely violated environmental regulations.

1970 — Vermont Attorney General Jim Jeffords sued International Paper in the U.S. Supreme Court over a 300-acre sludge bed deposited in Lake Champlain by the mill.

In 1974 International Paper paid $500,000 to settle a suit over sludge deposits.

1978 — Lake Champlain residents sued International Paper because of health problems and loss of property values caused by pollution from the mill. In 1989 International Paper paid $5 million to settle the lawsuit.

1989 —The EPA found that International Paper was emitting dioxin into Lake Champlain.

1991 — When a sludge pipe burst at the mill, International Paper hired a backhoe to breach a beaver dam and released a million gallons of toxic waste into Lake Champlain. International Paper did not notify Vermont officials about the spill. International Paper was fined $65,000.

At a meeting in Middlebury VT on October 15, 2003, International Paper officials denied that any air pollution data was collected at the Ticonderoga mill during an earlier tire burn test in 1997. After the meeting a report containing data from the 1997 test was found at the NY Department of Environmental Conservation.

Current emissions:
Click on the link above to see how toxic emissions are actually increasing at the International Paper Plant in Ticonderoga, New York. Even though IP has reduced their total waste stream since 1990, data reported to the EPA shows releases of the most hazardous heavy metals and pollutants have more than doubled!

Toxic Chemical Releases:

90-100% of plants in the US have lower total environmental releases than IP Ticonderoga.

70-80% of plants in the US have a lower cancer risk score (air and water releases) than IP Ticonderoga.

90-100% of plants in the US have a lower noncancer risk score (air and water releases) than IP Ticonderoga.

80-90% of plants in the US have lower air releases of recognized carcinogens than IP Ticonderoga.

Hazardous Air Pollutants:

90-100% of plants in the US have lower ozone (1-hour, 8-hour average concentrations) emissions than IP Ticonderoga

70-80% of plants in the US have lower lead quarterly average concentration emissions than IP Ticonderoga.

80-90% of plants in the US have lower nitrogen dioxide annual average concentration emissions than IP Ticonderoga.

80-90% of plants in the US have lower PM-2.5 24-hour average concentration emissions than IP Ticonderoga.

Health Effects:

Release of toxic pollutants translates into adverse health effects.

Current air pollution exposure standards are based on healthy adults and do not take infants, nursing mothers, and the elderly into consideration.

EPA standards for exposure to toxic materials have decreased over the years as we have learned more about effects of toxins. For example EPA mercury exposure standard has decreased 20 fold over the past 25-30 years.

Not all pollutants released are monitored. The EPA monitors only a few criteria air pollutants which may not be representative of all pollutants released. Many unknown pollutants with unknown health effects are being released.

Precautionary principal: avoid as much exposure to real and potential toxins as possible.

Part of the reason why IP Ticonderoga has such a poor environmental record is because the plant has an antiquated wet scrubber pollution control device on its power boiler. If a new paper mill was built today the plant would be required to install an electrostatic precipitator pollution control device (essential for control of fine particulates). As far as we know most plants in US burning the amount of tires that IP proposes to burn have an electrostatic precipitator pollution control device.

Tire Burning and some reasons not to burn tires:

International Paper proposes to burn 72 tons of shredded tires a day (about 1 million tires a year) which would displace between 10 and 16% of the fuel oil used in the facility's power boiler.

Tires are not designed to be burned as a fuel and contain hazardous ingredients (the rubber in tires contains 25% extender oils derived from benzene, 25% styrene, a derivative of benzene, and 25% 1,3 butadiene. - both benzene and 1,3 butadiene are suspected human carcinogens). Tire-derived fuel (TDF) also contains remnants of wire that is difficult to totally remove when tires are processed for fuel.

Tire Burning will increase levels of pollution in the Champlain Valley.

A 1997 EPA study in which a paper mill equipped with a wet scrubber (a pollution control device similar to that available at the Ticonderoga mill) found that when shredded tires were burned as only 4% of the fuel supply, mercury emissions increased by 111% and zinc emissions increased by 1,391%.

The same EPA study found that another paper mill equipped with an electrostatic precipitator (a better form of pollution control than is available at the Ticonderoga mill) found that when shredded tires were burned as only 2% of the fuel supply: sulfur dioxide emissions increased by 48%, carbon monoxide emissions increased by 33%, mercury emissions increased by 20%, zinc emissions increased by 19%, benzene emissions increased by 20%, and hexavalent chromium emissions increased by 179%.

When only two tons of tires per day (compared to the 72 tons per day proposed for the test in Summer of 2005) were burned at the IP Ticonderoga plant during a1997 test, sulfur dioxide emissions increased, mercury in fly ash increased two-fold and zinc in fly ash increased five-fold.

International Paper Company's application to the NYDEC for a permit to conduct a test burn of tires at the Ticonderoga plant states that burning tires will increase emissions of toxic metals from the plant including (chromium, arsenic, zinc, barium, cobalt, copper, iron, aluminum, manganese and vanadium). International Paper Company's own data shows that tire burning will increase levels of pollution in the Champlain Valley.

Special Concerns about pollutants released from burning tires:

Fine Particulates (PM-2.5): Fine particulates are significantly more hazardous to human health than larger particulates. Toxins collected on the surface of fine particulates are aspirated by humans and lead to lung disease. The pollution control device on the IP power boiler is insufficient to remove fine particulate matter and heavy metals from flue gases.

Zinc Oxide: Zinc oxide is added to tires as part of the rubber vulcanization process at levels approaching 1-1.5% by weight. If tires are burned, the IP plant will release high levels of small particles containing zinc oxide. Inhaling small particles containing zinc produces inflammation in the lungs. Lung damage has been documented in animal studies at levels lower than OSHA and EPA standards. Asthmatics would be at particular risk from zinc exposure. There is also evidence of fetal damage from zinc exposure.

Dioxins: Tire burning will also increase emissions of dioxins and mercury. Nursing mothers should be especially concerned about dioxin and mercury exposure. Dioxins are among the most highly cancer causing substances known. There is no safe level of dioxin intake by humans and dioxins accumulate in plants, domestic meat, dairy animals, and humans. Mercury: "Nationally, one in six women of childbearing age has unsafe levels of mercury in her body, putting her children at risk for birth defects. … the EPA, strongly advises women of childbearing age and children under 15 against eating fish from Lake Champlain due to unhealthy levels of mercury" (Jim Jeffords letter to George Pataki opposing the tire burn).

Political support opposing the tire burn:

Grass roots (Moms for Safe Milk, People for Less Pollution)

Town meetings: Five Vermont Towns (Shoreham, Orwell, Whiting, Shelburne and New Haven) passed resolutions at town meetings opposing the tire burn.

Governor Douglas's position is that he will not support the test burn unless the NY DEC. the VT DEC and the EPA can agree that it can be done with no adverse effect to our environment.

The Vermont State Legislature has passed a joint house resolution supporting Governor Douglas in his opposition to the tire burn. Representative W. Jewett is introducing legislation to update VT standards for zinc exposure.

Senator Jim Jeffords's letter to NY Governor George Pataki requesting that Pataki reject the IP permit application for the tire burn.


Tires should be recycled: There are over 100 commercial uses for recycled tires including running tracks, railroad ties, roof shakes, auto parts, playground safety mats and tennis courts. Shredded tires are being used as lightweight fill around excavation sites and as septic tank leach fields. Millions of tires have been recycled as rubberized asphalt concrete and used in place of asphalt paving.

The IP Ticonderoga Plant Needs Strategic Pollution Control Investments by the Parent Corporation:

IP maintains that the company can not afford to upgrade the Ticonderoga plant.

IP parent company had $25 Billion in sales in 2004.

International Paper CEO John T. Dillon was paid $8,965,055 in 2002 including salary, bonuses, and stock options.

IP needs to invest in the Ticonderoga plant to create a sustainable paper making facility coupled to sustainable Adirondack forestry management practices that will provide local employment opportunities and not degrade the environment.


Is Burning Tires Safe? (176k pdf file)

IP Environmental Report Card (72k pdf file)

IP History of Law Suits and Permit Violations

Tire Burn Could Cause Children Severe Harm by Dr. Jack Mayer

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