Verso seeks third extension to fix faulty boiler

BUCKSPORT — Time is running out on Verso Paper Corp.’s attempt at fixing a boiler in its Bucksport mill. Verso requested a third extension recently from the state Department of Environmental Protection to correct an emissions problem with its No. 8 boiler.

Verso officials asked the department’s Bureau of Air Quality Control to extend the Aug. 15 compliance deadline to Feb. 15 for monitoring the boiler’s most efficient operating level.

The boiler is currently in operation and tested regularly. A third party tests for concentrated carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

The No. 8 boiler, which was part of a $45-million renewable energy upgrade project, hasn’t consistently burned renewable fuels efficiently as engineers predicted.

“The issue is they haven’t been able to get the unit to full capacity,” said Environmental Engineering Services Manager Eric Kennedy of the Bureau of Air Quality Management. “The design seems to be the problem.”

The DEP is addressing Verso’s request by drafting an amendment to boiler’s license allowing for the extension. Verso officials will review any proposed changes.

The DEP will hold a public hearing prior to deciding on granting an extension.

Several residents who live near the mill have complained about noise from the current testing, according to a Bucksport Enterprise report.

Several portions of this story are based on information from a Bucksport Enterprise article.

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Bill Pearson

Bill Pearson

Former Ellsworth American reporter worked at the Piscataquis Observer for 3.5 years before joining the American. The Corinna native served one term on the SAD 48 Board of Directors.