For immediate release:   Monday, October 30, 2006
For more information:
Richard Carpenter, PLP | 802.385.1171
BJ Ernst, NECAC | 802.759.2259

Citizen groups join Vermont Attorney General in filing suit against International Paper

People for Less Pollution and the Northeast Clean Air Coalition have filed an Amicus brief in conjunction with Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell’s suit for an injunction on the permit allowing the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga, NY to burn tire derived fuel (TDF) without the industry standard electrostatic precipitator (ESP).  The brief details the shortcomings of the test burn and the serious health threats this tire burn would impose on the residents of the Lake Champlain region, both Vermonters and New Yorkers.

The purpose of this brief is “to show our strong backing for the Attorney General’s petition to block the tire burn until the EPA has reviewed the AG’s objections to the original permit,” explained Richard Carpenter, President of People for Less Pollution. 

The NYDEC and the EPA have issued permits to International Paper to burn the TDF without an ESP despite widespread outcry from residents and elected officials regionwide.  International Paper announced plans earlier this month to conduct a two-week test burn starting November 6.  In response, the Vermont’s Attorney General has filed a motion for extraordinary relief in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York seeking an immediate injunction on the burn to allow for further review by the EPA.  People for Less Pollution and the Northeast Clean Air Coalition, with the aid of attorneys Ronald Shems of Shems, Dunkiel, Kassel, & Saunders PLLC and Emily Joselson of Langrock, Sperry, & Wool, LLP, prepared and filed an Amicus brief to the Court of Appeals late last week, adding their voice of concern to that of the Attorney General’s. 

The brief describes the “significant increases in emissions of harmful pollutants” resulting from the burning of TDF that the authors would ask be considered more fully by the EPA.  According to the brief, mercury, dioxins, particulates, zinc, cadmium, and chromium, all pollutants emitted by the burning of tires, are inadequately addressed in the current EPA permit.  The brief presents conclusive scientific evidence of harm from even a one day exposure to fine particulates.  The Court is asked to grant the injunction in order that the full 60 day comment period following the issuance of the EPA permit might be completed and that submitted comments might be considered before the tire burn begins.

The case will be heard and reviewed Tuesday, October 31st.  

“The fight to stop International Paper from test burning tire derived fuel is not over,” says Carpenter.  "We are inspired by the spirit of Vermonters to stand against that which is truly wrong and harmful to our children, our families, our neighbors, and our environment” added BJ Ernst, Executive Director of the Northeast Clean Air Coalition.  “We hope to put International Paper on notice that the citizens of Vermont are prepared to utilize the legal system and all other avenues to block this tire burn.” 

Click here to see a PDF of the Full Amicus Brief

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