Eastman Chemical Company has proposed to install additional air pollution control equipment on five industrial boilers at its Tennessee operations in Kingsport, Tenn. The company is in the process of selecting an engineering firm and construction should take place during 2009 to 2013. The $200 million capital project is part of the $1.3 billion dollar reinvestment plan, called "Project Reinvest" announced earlier this year for the Kingsport site.
Eastman and other industries are working with the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control (TDAPC) to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. TDAPC is taking public comment on its recently released plan for visibility improvement. That plan includes Eastman's proposed project.
"This will be the largest single air pollution control project ever undertaken at Eastman's Tennessee operations," said Parker Smith, vice president and general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support for Eastman. "We estimate an overall 60 percent reduction in emissions of sulfur dioxide from our facility. We are hopeful this project will not only assist Tennessee in meeting its regional haze goals under the Clean Air Act, but will also help our area here in Northeast Tennessee stay 'ahead of the curve' and remain in attainment of all relevant air quality standards. Attainment status ensures our air meets all federal air quality standards at all times and that our economy can continue to grow and prosper."
Eastman's plans are to install technology that will remove an estimated 90 percent of the sulfur dioxide emitted as a by-product from the burning of coal in the five boilers. The technology includes installing spray dryer absorbers, along with replacing electrostatic precipitators with fabric filters. Spray dryer absorbers use hydrated lime to neutralize sulfur dioxide emissions. They are also effective in removing emissions of hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, sulfuric acid, and mercury.
Sulfur dioxide is not included in the Environmental Protection Agency's annual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). However, other pollutants that will be reduced by this project are included in the TRI. From 1987 to 2005, total TRI air emissions decreased by 72.5 percent at the Kingsport site. Eastman estimates this project will reduce TRI air releases by 30 percent from 2006 levels at the company's Kingsport site.