Pulp & Paper Industry
Quarles & Brady built its reputation on an intimate understanding of both the law and technical aspects of client operations in the pulp and paper industry. Over the past 35 years, we have developed a wealth of experience associated with issues faced by the pulp, paper and forest products industries in air, water and solid/hazardous waste matters. Our lawyers participate routinely in regulatory deliberations shaping the future of environmental programs for the pulp and paper industry. This experience allows us to anticipate how regulators will approach a particular situation and to craft solutions that work for our clients. Representative Engagements/Experience:
- Representing several paper mills in challenges to WPDES permit conditions sought by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for Wisconsin pulp and paper mills. The challenged provisions would have set annual mass limits on 21 bioaccumulating substances and established special procedures for determining compliance using analytical results that fell below levels of detection and quantification. In a landmark decision in 1992, an administrative law judge held that annual mass limits and the use of analytical results below levels of detection and quantification were invalid. The ALJ also ruled illegal and void agency policies upon which the permit provisions were based.
- Assisting paper industry clients in successfully obtaining air permits for time-sensitive plant expansions and upgrades. We have obtained permits in line with client timelines and with no unreasonable conditions or requirements that would have jeopardized the projects.
- Representing pulp and paper mills in connection with federal MACT compliance inquiries under the Cluster Rules and for Boiler MACT. This has included assisting the clients in responding to USEPA Section 114 Requests for emissions testing and negotiating reasonable outcomes with USEPA staff.
- Obtaining excellent outcomes in NSR/PSD permitting, including having obtained a “no add-on control” LAER determination and “after-the-fact” Non-Attainment NSR permit case. The case involved complicated Clean Air Act issues and cross indemnification claims among four successive owners of the mill.
- Advising many paper company clients on compliance with federal hazardous air pollutant requirements and Wisconsin rules under Chapter NR 445 governing air toxics. We obtained the first “risk-based” off-ramp approval under revised NR 445 regarding formaldehyde emissions.
- Representing multiple pulp and paper mill clients in the negotiation of WPDES permits. This includes advising clients in connection with the need for and calculation of both categorical and water quality-based effluent limitations.
- Providing counsel to pulp and paper industry clients on issues related to USEPA’s Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative and its incorporation into WDNR rules.
- Assisting pulp and paper industry clients in developing strategies to address mercury discharges in wastewater, including the development of “pollutant minimization plans” under NR 106.145, Wis. Adm. Code. We have also represented a client in obtaining what may be the first-ever mercury variance under NR 106.145.
- Working with pulp and paper industry clients on solid and hazardous waste matters, including the siting and operation of solid waste landfills.
- Representing a paper company client at a major sediment site (Fox River), involving clean-up claims and federal, state and tribal natural resource damage claims.
- Representing clients in the investigation and remediation of properties and third-party disposal sites, including multi-party CERCLA sites.
- Counseling clients on release reporting (e.g., TRI), assisting with EH&S compliance auditing and any necessary self-disclosure, and negotiating resolution of self-disclosed and other violations.
For more information on how our Environmental Group can help you address potential or actual environment-related legal and business concerns, please contact Arthur A. Vogel Jr. at (414) 277-5545 or
, or your local Quarles & Brady attorney.