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Preserving the Earth's Resources.

Sun Chemical Forms Joint Venture to Reduce its Impact on the Environment and Natural Resources.

Mother Nature. We thank her when she sends some warm weather our way, but do nothing but complain when it's -10[degrees] outside. But when do we ever stop to think about how we are treating Mother Nature and the environment? Just consider all the different types of pollution that are sent into the air and water, and you will have one thing to say...yuck.

So, you might say, who's responsible for cleaning up the environment. Guess what, it's you and the millions of businesses who depend on Mother Nature's resources to operate.

Sun Chemical Corporation continues to be a leader in the field of environmental initiatives, most recently through the establishment of a new water purification plant and joint venture at its organic pigment production facility in Muskegon, MI. "We are always looking at opportunities for reducing and reusing both renewable and nonrenewable resources," said Gary Andrzejewski, corporate vice president of environmental affairs at Sun Chemical. "Sun has always been committed to preserving the environment and minimizing the impact of our operations on the local community and the environment as a whole."

The Importance of Water

The pigment production process uses a lot of water during the flushing phase. In Sun's case, its pigment plant was sending 1.2 to 1.4 million gallons of wastewater per day to the public wastewater facility in Muskegon. "We have formed a recycling venture to take the water being recycled and bring it back to Sun Chemical to be used during the flushing process," said Mr. Andrzejewski. "This reduces Sun's overall demand on the aquifer by 50 percent."

Sun Chemical formed the joint venture with Lomac LLC, a neighboring supplier that already had a biological wastewater treatment plant. Sun will control 60 percent of the new joint venture, Camus Water Technologies LLC, and Lomac has the remaining 40 percent share. "We made a capital investment to expand Lomac's wastewater treatment facility in order to accommodate Sun Chemical's outfall," said Mr. Andrzejewski.

In addition, through the joint venture, Sun will assume control of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) nearby groundwater polishing facility from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). "This is the first time in the EPA's history that it has worked with the private sector to foster a program like this," added Mr. Andrzejewski.

With this new venture, Sun Chemical also reduces the capacity for BOD (biological oxygen demand) at Muskegon's public wastewater facility. "Before we set up this joint venture, Muskegon's facility was approaching capacity for BOD-laden waste streams," explained Mr. Andrzejewski. "Before, Sun Chemical was producing 14,000 pounds of BOD per day. Now we have given back 10,000 pounds per day of BOD capacity. We now treat the water at the new facility and then discharge the clean water back to the Muskegon plant. We reduced BOD demand on the local facility by 70 percent."

Up and Running

Mr. Andrzejewski reported that there haven't been any major complications since the facility came on-line, just a few kinks that were easily worked out. Sun Chemical is now looking at other ways to continue its goal of protecting the environment whenever possible. "Our goal is to look at other recycling facilities to lower demand in total," said Mr. Andrzejewski.

"This investment was very wise because of its benefit to the environment, and limits the need for future expansion of Muskegon's public wastewater treatment plant," said Mr. Andrzejewski.
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Author:Hess, Jenn
Publication:Ink World
Date:Aug 1, 2000
Words:584
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