What Happens to the Water Used by the Texas Plant Site?
Water is one of those things we all take for granted. But as we learned in the last issue of Inteplast News, with BOPP’s excellent stewardship of water, it is not something taken for granted at the Lolita site.
The Texas site gets its water from the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority and discharges it back into the Lavaca River Tidal Basin. In order to make this discharge a permit must be obtained under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). NPDES is actually mandated by The Clean Water Act of 1972 with enforcement authority delegated by the federal government to the State of Texas. The state agency known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, approves the application submitted and enforces the laws through site audits ensuring the safety of the discharged water.
This permitting process is every five years and according to Site Manager, Bob Coen, “this is a huge undertaking”. With the help of outside consultants and representatives from each building, masses of data are compiled into the
application. Coen says the application process must begin six months prior to expiration. The result is a 3 inch binder crammed full of pertinent data.
Essentially the application contains results of analysis of the water discharged from the site, whether surface or process, and its impact on adjacent and regional landowners and population. The water is discharged through a 12 inch pipeline going from the site to the Lavaca River. Pictures are made of the discharge pipe to verify it is clear of obstructions and clean. The water is analyzed to verify that it is free of pollutants or contaminants. If over time Inteplast makes changes to its processes or landscape that change the outflow in any manner, the application must be amended – which is also a large undertaking.
Coen concluded by saying since “we live and work in the area Inteplast has a vested interest in seeing that the 100,000-plus gallons discharged daily are safe, clear and clean”.
Joseph Wang Vice President of Administration