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Pactiv Evergreen accused of illegally dumping chemicals during shutdown

After 115 years in operation, the paper mill in Canton shut down in June.
Max Cooper / Courtesy of Smoky Mountain News
After 115 years in operation, the paper mill in Canton shut down in June.

In a notice of violation issued Monday, July 10, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is accusing Pactiv Evergreen of dumping chemicals directly into its wastewater treatment system rather than disposing of them properly, as required by the company’s permit.

The July 10 NOV brings Pactiv Evergreen’s total since May 2021 up to 14.

According to the document, DEQ’s Division of Water Resources received a complaint on Wednesday, June 5, accompanied by photos showing a hose connected to a chemical tote that appears to terminate above a floor drain. The chemical tote is labeled “sodium hydroxide solution,” the NOV states, and a second chemical tote bearing a similar label is positioned on top of the tote with the hose connection. This tote has a hose that appears to drain into the top of the lower tote.

The complaint submitted to DWR alleged that the chemicals being disposed of were sodium hydroxide solution — sodium hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda — and calcium hypochlorite.

Read the full story on Smoky Mountain News.

Outdoors Editor and Staff Writer at The Smoky Mountain News