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Carthage paper company OKs sewage deal

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CARTHAGE — For nearly a year, the Carthage/West Carthage Water Pollution Control Facility management board has tried to come to terms with Carthage Specialty Paperboard, formerly Climax Paperboard and Packaging, over a consent order regarding compliance with wastewater standards.

Now, the joint management board and the company have reached an agreement.

An administrative order agreed upon by both parties calls for Carthage Specialty Paperboard to install, within the year, an approved tank to equalize the wastewater’s pH — a measure of liquid’s acidity or base properties.

According the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the paperboard manufacturer violated terms of a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit when its wastewater had higher pH than acceptable. Increased pH levels throw off water treatment, a problem that costs money to correct.

In August, acting on a consent order from the DEC, the joint board issued its own consent order against Climax. Michael F. Astafan, chairman of the joint sewer board, said that when the facility switches procedures to make its various products, chemicals used are dumped, causing the change in the discharge.

One solution suggested was to install an equalization tank as part of upcoming upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.

Since then, the paperboard manufacturer has been fined numerous times, incurring a total of $12,730 which has gone unpaid.

The villages will continue to impose fines for permit violations, with proceeds set aside in an account that can be used to reimburse Carthage Specialty Paperboard for installation costs. If the manufacturer fails to meet the May 31, 2015 installation deadline, the funds will revert to the villages’ Water Pollution Control Facility general revenue account.

Mr. Astafan said he was pleased with the agreement.

“Both sides are shooting for the same goal and working together as a team,” he said. “Going forward, Carthage Specialty Paperboard is aware of our meeting and are willing to come to work with us and explain their operation. We are moving forward in a positive direction.”

Representatives of Carthage Specialty Paperboard could not be reached for comment.

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