Wisconsin veneer facility fined $75,000
March 10, 2022 | 1:50 am CST

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice has obtained a $75,000 civil judgment against Wisconsin Veneer and Plywood Inc. for alleged violations of the State’s air pollution control laws.

The incidents reportedly occurred at the company’s Shawano County manufacturing facility, which is about 40 miles west of Green Bay.

“Enforcing our air pollution laws isn’t only important for the environment,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “It also helps protect Wisconsinites’ health and wellbeing.”

According to the complaint, the facility uses a wood-fired boiler that combusts scrap veneer, sawdust, wood chips and wood bark. Uncontrolled emissions from the boiler are vented to the atmosphere through a stack. 

On May 13 and 14, 2020, Wisconsin Veneer conducted a particulate emission stack test for the boiler. Results of the test showed that Wisconsin Veneer violated two particulate matter emission limitations contained in its air pollution control permit. The results were compared to boiler operations from May 13, 2020, and July 9, 2020, and the analysis found that the company operated the boiler in a manner similar to how it was run during the stack test. 

Starting on July 10, 2020, the boiler was shut down for two weeks and several parts of the boiler were cleaned. Subsequent stack testing showed that Wisconsin Veneer had returned to compliance with its permit. 

According to the U.S. EPA, particulate matter is made up of microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can cause serious heart and lung problems when inhaled. Children, people with heart or lung diseases, and the elderly are especially at risk. Particulate matter released into the atmosphere can also have negative environmental effects, such as haze and damage to soil and water when the particles settle.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).