The Council on Economic Priorities (CEP), a nonprofit research group, seeks factual information on corporate responsibility in the areas of environmental protection, minority hiring, defense contracting, and overseas investment. Here CEP investigates 131 pulp mills operated by the 24 leading U.S. pulp and paper companies to ascertain what these firms have accomplished in controlling pollution at these locations, to evaluate the commitment of the companies to pollution control, and to estimate what it would cost each company to provide air and water treatment at the highest level technologically and economically feasible today. The language of the study is not polemical, but it does no hesitate to name names or to look beyond glossy national publicity campaigns in order to discover the facts.
Chapters in the first part of the book discuss the pollutants of pulping and their effects, the four basic pulping processes (groundwood, semichemical, sulfite, and kraft), the technological means for controlling their air- and water- polluting side effects, and the legal (state and federal) background of pollution control. In Part Two, which is essentially the heart of the study, CEP analyzes each company individually. A company overview presents information on major products and consumer brands, financial data, a listing of officers and directors, and a specification of plant locations, timber holdings, and levels of pulp production. Thereafter, mill-by-mill analyses review plant history, nature and capacity. Pollution control equipment in use and its rated or actual efficiency.
The mills are evaluated and recommendations are made—with cost figures—for correcting illegal or undesirable practices at each location. The work is brought to a close with an index of consumer brands and a review of the most recent pollution control efforts of the companies studied.