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Connecting Resources in Natural Dam


Dunn Paper – Natural Dam, located in Gouverneur, NY, produces white medical tissue and deep-dyed napkin. The mill employs 90 people and the company employs over 800 across the country. The company has seven plants in the U.S. and Canada.

The Challenge

Dunn Paper needed a water filtration and treatment system to remove dirt and tannins from the Oswegatchie River. The company struggled with water quality while making paper and used bleach to whiten the paper. Bleach is an expensive and corrosive chemical, which needed neutralizing before entering the process. 
There were a lot of moving parts to this project, and solutions did not present themselves easily. CITEC's business advisor helped to break the project into pieces so we could accomplish what we needed to do. CITEC's deep network offered us resources to research different alternatives, and also found us additional funding sources.
— Matt Hartle, Maintenance Manager

MEP's Role

CITEC, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, worked with the local IDA to help source three new pieces of equipment for Dunn. When the improved efficiencies started to add up, they realized it was time to call NYSERDA, a NY State clean energy authority that promotes efficiency and renewable energy sources, to see if the upgrades met standards for capital reimbursements. The estimates were that the annual energy, water and consumable savings would total more than a half million dollars per year, which would make Dunn eligible for a NYSERDA rebate totaling half of their capital expenditure.


On the tannin removal side of the project, CITEC brought together other NY State assets including the Pollution Prevention Institute, based at the Rochester Institute for Technology, and the Center for Advanced Materials Processing, based at Clarkson University. After several trials and experiments, the answer lay in using the same kind of system that municipalities use to clean drinking water. CITEC’s persistence in questioning outcomes and searching out additional experts resulted in a system that proved to be both effective and economical for Dunn.

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021