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S.C. lawmakers scheduled to visit New Indy facility

Those scheduled for the tour, which starts at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17 are S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman, S.C. State Sen. Mike Johnson and S.C. State Sen. Wes Climer, who is listed as tentative.
Some S.C. lawmakers will tour the New Indy plant on Friday.
Some S.C. lawmakers will tour the New Indy plant on Friday.(WBTV)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:42 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:43 AM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) – South Carolina representatives and others are set to visit the New Indy Containerboard paper mill facility on Friday afternoon.

Those scheduled for the tour, which starts at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17 are S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman, S.C. State Sen. Mike Johnson and S.C. State Sen. Wes Climer, who is listed as tentative.

They are set to join New Indy Catawba representatives.

The tour was prompted by some attendees who spoke at an August town hall hosted by Norman. It comes two days before a group living in the areas affected by the facility are set to protest at the S.C. governor’s mansion.

Related coverage:

EPA investigating emissions increase caused by ‘black liquor’ overflow at New Indy facility in South Carolina

EPA issues emergency order for New Indy Containerboard to fix odor in S.C., New Indy responds

People affected by New Indy Containerboard are ‘fighting back’ with different efforts

It has been several months since residents of York, Lancaster, Union and Mecklenburg counties in S.C. and North Carolina first complained about the foul smell they said is coming from the New Indy facility.

Early this month, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it is investigating an increase in emissions at the S.C. paper mill facility.

EPA officials said they were aware of increased emissions and were in the process of gathering additional information.

According to representatives from New Indy, the increased emissions were a result of an outage on a recovery boiler causing a tank to overflow for 24 minutes. The overflow liquid is what they call “black liquor.”

Ahead of Friday’s visit, Johnson said the EPA and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control are working with New Indy to determine the exact cause and the “processes that failed leading to the issue.

According to Johnson, the EPA director said he believes the issues at New Indy will be corrected, but that it was going to take time.

“I am encouraged by New Indy’s engagement, and believe they are beginning to move in the right direction. That being said, there is much work to be done,” Johnson said.

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