Posts Tagged ‘pulp mill’
[Freshwater Tissue Co. owner Bob Simpson responds to a recent guest post about the reopening of the mill.]
On behalf of Freshwater Tissue Company, I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to search for facts rather than recycle the same “Pulp Fiction” for decades.
For the sake of clarification, the only pollution standard the Samoa mill cannot comply with is biochemical oxygen demand “BOD”. In short, BOD is organic sugar. You could just as easily refer to BOD as fish food or plant nutrients. If the Samoa mill was discharging its pollution to the Eel River it would be a problem because both plants and fish thrive on it. Unfortunately, BOD causes plants/algae to grow, which then depletes oxygen and strangles fish. However, BOD in the Pacific Ocean is not an issue or concern due to the size of the receiving water (Pacific Ocean), and because the ocean constantly produces oxygen through wave action and tidal influence. In fact, studies have been conducted over 20 years, which you can confirm through Humboldt State University, that conclude the Samoa mill’s BOD has no oxygen impact to the receiving water, but the fish to thrive at the end of the outfall line. You could accuse the Samoa mill of chumming the fish!
The real issue with the Samoa mill is not about pollution, it is about a 37 year old antiquated EPA evaluation system that regulates BOD regardless of where pulp mill effluent is discharged, i.e., stream, river, lake, or ocean. As you might conclude, EPA’s antiquated regulation of BOD was, and it remains, a politically backed decision supported by industry lobbyist’s to eliminate a perceived environmental advantage over ocean discharging pulp mills, such as the Samoa mill, in comparison to competing pulp mills located on northwest rivers and lakes, and pulp mills located on the shores of the Great Lakes. There are only two pulp mills remaining on the west coast with ocean outfall lines. We are in fact trying to make sure the Samoa mill survives.
Lastly, you should not judge a pulp mill by its age. There haven’t been, nor will there be, any pulp mills constructed in the United States or Canada for over 20 years. A 45 year old pulp mill in North America is relatively young, environmentally superior to pulp mills located in South American and Asian, and the Samoa mill is run be experienced workers who care about the community and the environment that surrounds us. Are you aware Evergreen invested $26 million in environmental and quality improvement projects during its four years of operation? Did you know Louisiana-Pacific invested $175 million in environmental technology during its 28 years of ownership? FTC intends to invest $50 million in its first five years of ownership, most of which will be environmental investment. You shouldn’t judge the Samoa mill by its outer structure. Because the heart of the Samoa mill, which is its environmental technology, is as healthy as can be. To permanently close the Samoa mill would be a monumental mistake.
For those of you in our community too young to remember, a group of men intervened and rescued the Ingomar Club from extinction. We all know how the Ingomar has become an icon for Eureka, and it continues to bring enjoyment for its members. With the support of the entire community, the Samoa mill will set new environmental standards for the pulp industry, provide family wage jobs for 215 employees, and it will support landowners and sawmill owners by providing a market for tanoak logs and pulp chips. Our community needs another Ingomar type story. Remember, United we stand, divided we fall.
Bob Simpson – Freshwater Tissue Company
The U.S. Department of Labor has approved a union request for retraining and other assistance for local laid off workers through the Federal Trade Act.
State water quality officials have released a draft permit for the Samoa pulp mill which would force a significant change in how it treats millions of gallons of wastewater it releases into the ocean.
[Guest post by Xandra Grube.]
On January 27, 2010, Freshwater Tissue Company owner Bob Simpson applied for a permit from the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) to discharge waste water from the proposed production of toilet paper at the Samoa Pulp Mill property into the Pacific Ocean. On March 29, 2010, the Water Board sent a letter advising interested parties that a draft NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit is available for review and that the Water Board will consider the draft permit and associated order at its June 10, 2010, meeting.
The letter states that the Freshwater Tissue Company (FTC) has already “acknowledged that it cannot immediately comply with the applicable Effluent Limitation Guidelines established for the production of Bleached Kraft Pulp and Unbleached Kraft Pulp.” Therefore, the letter states, the Water Board is proposing a “companion cease and desist order” the specifics of which are not yet available. Presumably, the cease and desist order is intended to be in place until the mill is able to meet the discharge requirements. The letter states that unless there is “significant public comment“ or objection from the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), a permit adopted on June 10, 2010, will become effective on that date. The public comment period will end on April 29, 2010.
At an informational hearing held on March 25, 2010, at the Wharfinger Building, Water Board staffer Charles Reed summarized the history of the Samoa Pulp Mill with regard to waste water discharge requirements and violations. This mill has continuously been in violation of water quality standards. He also stated that the federal regulators want all pulp mills to comply equally to standards, i.e., a pulp mill in Virginia or Indiana should not be impacting the population surrounding it any more or less than a pulp mill in California does.
Many people in the know do not believe the pulp mill will be able to reopen because there are so many agencies whose standards and requirements need to be met. However, it appears that some directive is coming down from the governor’s office to expedite the reopening of the pulp mill by putting the mill on a schedule of compliance. Given the past history of violations of water and air quality standards, it looks like an enforcement nightmare ahead.
If you’re out and about for Arts Alive on Saturday evening, drop in to see our show of paintings and photographs of the pulp mill. The mill is one of the industrial landmarks of Humboldt County, sitting on the bay…
When Eureka Books owner Scott Brown heard that the pulp mill was going to be closed, he thought of the many artists who have included the mill smokestacks in their landscapes over the years.
The owners of the Samoa pulp mill are ready to enter into contract negotiations with the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District to supply the facility with water over the next 10 years.
Freshwater Tissue Co. said it has abandoned an offer to liquidate the Samoa pulp mill and is instead pursuing funding and permitting to reopen the closed plant by July 1.
The owners of the shuttered Samoa pulp mill have brought a last-minute proposal to buy water to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, which lodged a counter offer Thursday for a contract it believes would protect its ratepayers and shield it
With the pulp mill closed down, all Humboldt County residents are going to see an increase in their water bill, but it seems Eureka senior citizens may feel it the most.
There’s a firestorm brewing that may create some very strange bedfellows. Eureka city staff is proposing HUGE increases to Eureka’s water and sewer rates over the next 5 years. While all agree some water rate increases are inevitable since the pulp mills have closed, this grab for bucks goes far beyond the call.
Samoa Softball Blog
What was once the bustling Evergreen Pulp mill is today a forlorn factory of smokestacks and tan buildings clustered quietly beside the still, gray waters of the Arcata harbor near Eureka, Calif.
The calendar features paintings by O’Leary, Linda Mitchell, Rachel Schlueter, and Amy Stewart. Scenes include Indian Island, the Ferndale racetrack, and the AA bar. Some of the images are already part of Humboldt’s past. “As we were putting it together, we realized that already some of the places we painted had changed,”
The owner of the Samoa pulp mill said Tuesday it will permanently close the facility after failing to secure federal stimulus funds to improve the plant.