The York County Paper Mill, owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has been at the center of thousands of odor complaints, including a class action lawsuit.
CATAWBA, SC – Lawyers representing the owners in a class action lawsuit against New-Indy Containerboard, the York County paper mill partially owned by NFL owner Robert Kraft, have asked a judge to allow them to intervene in a separate complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA’s complaint dates back to mid-July, just before the agency’s emergency order against the stationery expired.
The ordinance called on New-Indy to reduce hydrogen sulfide emissions after regulators blamed the chemical for a noxious odor plaguing Caroline’s owners.
To extend that order, the EPA first filed a civil action against New-Indy, followed by a consent order.
The consent order was an agreement between the EPA and New-Indy to essentially extend the essential elements of the initial emergency order beyond its 60-day window, while staying all other proceedings in the l civil action.
But on Thursday, lawyers for homeowners suing New-Indy in a class action lawsuit filed a motion asking a judge to lift the stay of the EPA civil action and allow them to intervene in the agency file.
âWe want to help the process,â Phil Federico, one of the lawyers representing the owners. “We want to speed up the process. We think we’re in a position to get things done a little faster than maybe the EPA is.”
He said they were also concerned with the way the EPA is conducting its investigation.
He and other lawyers want the EPA to install more monitors to measure New-Indy’s emissions, and they want the EPA to expand its scope to measure three more reduced sulfur compounds.
In their petition, lawyers want a judge to order New-Indy to immediately reduce the amount of chemicals the company releases into the air, including, if necessary, “drastically reducing or halting production. of the installation “.
“It is always our goal in an environmental case to ensure that the company involved on the other side of the case does not become less profitable, that no one loses their job,” said Federico. âWe think it can be avoided. I absolutely think it can be avoided. But again, you can’t ignore the environment just to keep people in their jobs. You can do both. They just have to be. ready to come to the table, invest the money they need to invest in sanitation and modernize this facility. â
All three parties are expected to appear before a judge within the next 30 days.
New Indy continues to decline interviews despite repeated requests from WCNC Charlotte dating back five months. The EPA has also declined to discuss the pending litigation.
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