March 26, 2007

NB wallboard plant to use power plant residue as raw material

The New Brunswick Environment Department has launched a 180-day public participation process for a gypsum wallboard manufacturing facility currently being built by Atlantic Wallboard Limited Partnership east Saint John. The facility will use synthetic gypsum (also known as desulfogypsum or DSG) produced by the flue gas desulfurization system at New Brunswick Power's Coleson Cove generating station as the main raw material in the production of commercial-grade wallboard products for the construction industry. Over time, this material will be supplemented as needed by natural or synthetic gypsum from other sources.

The project is being built at the former Saint John Shipbuilding property as part of a larger planned redevelopment of the former shipyard into a green industrial park.

The operation of the wallboard facility is expected to result in emissions of particulate matter, trace amounts of organic compounds, combustion gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Natural gas will be used exclusively for process and space heating. The emissions from natural gas sources are expected to be low in relation to other standard fuels such as #6 or #2 fuel oil. The focus of the environmental controls will be directed to mainly address the emissions of particulate matter and NOx.

As required under the air quality regulation of the New Brunswick Clean Air Act, the plant would have to comply with conditions set out in an Approval to Operate issued under the regulation. Because it is classified as a Class 1 source of emissions, a public participation process is required, under the public participation regulation of the same act, before an Approval to Operate is issued. The process includes a 120-day public comment period which runs to July 3, 2007.

Written comments are invited on air quality-related issues, including questions or comments regarding: air emissions; pollution-control equipment; conditions proposed in the draft approval; monitoring and reporting requirements; and information on enforcement and compliance. Information on obtaining documentation or submitting comments during the public review process is available on-line at www.gnb.ca/0009/0355/0005/I-5726_E.html.

The construction approval requires the proponent to comply with a specific reference relating to air pollution control contained in the approval. Proposals must be submitted to the Director for review and approval and must address the following points:

- mitigation of fugitive emissions from the gypsum storage area;

- mitigation of fugitive emissions from tracking of gypsum on the tires of transport vehicles;

- mitigation of fugitive emissions from tracking of gypsum by the loader; and

- equipment, location and schedule for a fugitive emission monitoring system.

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