In mid-February, President Donald J. Trump signed legislation to end the Stream Protection Rule enacted by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
This rule, according to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, was intended to improve the balance between environmental protection and the country’s need for coal as a resource. By terminating that rule—it is the second regulation to be eliminated by the Congressional Review Act—mining companies can dump mining waste into nearby streams and waterways.
Since that rule had been in force, however, many companies had become more conscious about how their waste impacts the communities in which they are located. When it comes to the industrial wastewater industry, we have noticed a trend toward increased sustainability and business’ desire to be good stewards of the natural environment in their region.
One such mine that took those values to heart is featured in this issue’s cover story, “Perils of Polymer?”, on page 12. When the mine found it was exceeding its discharge limits after a change in equipment, it used whole effluent toxicity tests to determine what exactly had created the problem.
And on page 14, a paper mill discovers how polymeric repair composites and industrial protective coatings can save money over replacement of pumps in its pulping process. Despite six years of intense wear from pulp and sludge, repaired and recoated pumps saw a considerable extension of their life spans and improvement in performance from their worn status.
Also featured in this issue is the Rothenbühler Cheesemakers plant that implemented biological digesters to improve efficiency and reuse biogas to fuel its boilers, which ultimately will reduce the plant’s energy consumption and save on expenses. That feature, titled “Say Cheese,” can be found on page 6.
If you have an industrial project or know of a plant or facility that has made strides toward sustainability, whether through introduction of new equipment or adjustments to current processes, let us know. We are happy to learn more about the industry’s steps toward eco-friendly processes and equipment.