The EnviroSuite monitors located on Graphic Packaging property are publicly available so our neighbors and community can view H2S data in real-time. These are useful indicators of air quality, however they should not be the only tool used when evaluating odor emissions.
What is Graphic Packaging doing to address air quality?
We have taken a number of measures as part of our Odor Action Plan, including placing EnviroSuite monitors in key areas around our facilities to provide real-time tracking.
Since the timeframe the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) study was conducted (using data from 2019-2021), our emissions reports have shown significant declines in H2S levels surrounding our mill and the City of Kalamazoo’s Water Reclamation Plant. Air quality has steadily improved, and emissions levels are well within regulatory limits. We take the health and safety of our employees and neighbors very seriously. We are working closely with the city, state and other stakeholders to address community concerns.
How should data from EnviroSuite monitors be interpreted?
The monitors can be extremely helpful to identify potential levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), but they are screening tools only and not designed to be compliance-grade monitors. The data should be reviewed, verified and cross-checked against other variables, including wind speed and direction, temperature, readings on nearby sensors, and in some cases, more sensitive, portable monitoring equipment.
Are EnviroSuite monitors 100% accurate?
While the EnviroSuite monitors provide helpful data signals, they are not precision tools and tend to overestimate the H2S concentration.
The monitors can produce false readings, or false positives, which are sometimes caused by battery malfunctions or other technical issues. The batteries are solar-powered, which can also contribute to intermittent issues.
Short, sporadic spikes are often false positives. They are easy to spot when the surrounding monitors reflect zero in the same timeframe.
Why do emissions sometime appear sporadically higher, such as at night?
Sometimes short-lived spikes occur due to temporary influences in the environment. This could happen when a monitor is in an area with high car traffic, due to diesel emissions from vehicles.
We have seen instances of unexplained elevated readings, similar to false positives, occurring at night for longer durations. These readings have proven to be erroneous upon investigation, and the Kalamazoo Water Reclamation Plant (KWRP) has reported the same phenomenon with its sensors. We have raised this concern with the manufacturer and look forward to hearing their recommendations on mitigating these inaccurate readings.
Why did you install EnviroSuite monitors instead of another brand?
EnviroSuite is widely regarded as the best online monitoring technology available. Graphic Packaging inquired with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) prior to purchasing the monitors, and the agencies confirmed that EnviroSuite was the best option. The Kalamazoo Wastewater Reclamation Plant (KWRP) next door also opted to purchase EnviroSuite monitors to measure its H2S levels.
How is Graphic Packaging’s emissions data monitored?
Graphic Packaging keeps a close watch on emissions data and has an alert system set up tracking all monitor activity. Experienced staff conduct thorough investigations into abnormal sensor activity. We abide by the standards listed in our publicly available Nuisance Minimization Odor Plan (NMOP) with EGLE. This stipulates that our Environmental Manager will investigate if a monitor has two consecutive 15-minute averages of H2S over 50 ppb OR if a monitor’s 15-minute average H2S level is over 25 ppb for more than two hours.