A letter from Charles Reed of the North Coast Regional Water Board  to Bob Simpson dated March 29, 2010 said "Regional Water Board Staff is completing for consideration by the Regional Water Board at its June 10, 2010 meeting.  In addition, because FTC (Freshwater Tissue) has acknowledged that it can not immediately comply with the applicable Effluent Limitation Guidelines established for the production of Bleached Kraft Pulp and Unbleached Kraft Pulp, Regional Water Board staff will propose a companion cease and desister order.  ... I expect to circulate the draft NPDES permit and proposed cease and desist order for public comment on or before April 1, 2010 UNLESS THERE IS AN OBJECTION TO THE PERMIT FROM THE EPA OR THERE IS SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC COMMENT, A PERMIT ADOPTED ON jUNE 10, 2010 WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON JUNE 10, 2010."

SPEAK NOW OR...............
This is a huge assault on our environment and a shift in policy by the state of California.  Apparently, we are expendable.  In order for some people to continue their rich lifestyles, they have to dump on us.
 
They are really fasttracking the new water permit for the mill.  Public Comment began yesterday and lasts through April.  The 98 page draft permit is available from the North Coast Water Quality District.  We will summarize it on this blog as soon as possible.  It appears that the plan is to get this by the public before they can react.  Details to followl
 
At the March 25 meeting of the Water Board held at the Wharfinger in Eureka, Charles Reed from the Water Board staff gave a report on the status of the pulp mill.  He said that it would take 3 years for the mill to meet water quality standards.  However, they are working up a permit with a time schedule for meeting these standards. "Regional Water Board staff will investigate options for establishing a time schedule in a Regional Water Board Order....Regional Water Board staff will prepare a draft NPDES permit for public notice and review and for consideration by the Regional Water Board at the June 10, 2010 board meeting." (Executive Summary Report March 25, 2010) In other words, they are going to let them operate without meeting the law.  All this is being done in record time.

Earlier a letter was issued saying that Freshwater Tissue had to meet standards before they received a permit. "However, the applicable effluent limitations for BOD, suspended solids, and pH for bleached pulp must be met beginning on the effective date of the permit. (Charles Reed February 26, 2010) What could cause such a turnabout? It is clear that they received some sort of powerful pressure. The Governor would seem to be the only one with this kind of power. What does this mean for environmental standards in the State of California?

Mr. Bob Simpson spoke.  He said it was just a little pollution and the ocean was big. He minimized the importance of the hexavalent chromium, arsenic, nickel, manganese and other toxic cancer causing chemicals that are already on the site.  He indicated that he was against pollutin which seemed a little hypocritical since he was asking for a permit that allows him to pollute for three years. He further stated his concerns for the people of China.  If was concerned that if we don't have the pollution here, they will have it in China.  He has just come back from a trip to China.  I wonder if he ran into David Tsang.

Somebody has to be concerned with such a clear assault on our environment.  People keep saying it will never happen.  The mill will never open again.  I hope they are right, but the facts seem to point otherwise. Wake up Eureka!!!! Humboldt County!!! Fishermen!!! Surfers!!! People who worry about getting cancer!!! People who care about the ocean, global warming, the well being of animals in and near th






 
We will get a chance to speak during the update on the mill.  This could occur anywhere between 9:30 and 2:30 March 25 (Wharfinger Building Eureka).  The best estimate is late morning or early afternoon.
There is political and economic pressure to let them open despite the fact that they will be releasing cancer causing chemicals into the ocean for a period of 2-3 years or longer.  The mill is anticipating making lots of money, because the price of pulp is up due to earthquake damage to mills in Chile. If they are given a permit in June or July, they will be breaking federal laws.  Is there a lawyer out there who would like to do something concrete about global warming and the health of our ocean?????



 
The meeting will be March 24-25.  March 24 will deal with the Klamath.
March 25 there will be an update on the mill which will probably happen in the afternoon.  Public comment will be allowed.  We will find out whether we can comment during public comment period which will happen soon after the 9 AM starting time or if we will have to wait for the update (probably in the afternoon).  Public Hearings on the permit for the mill will be in June, but that meeting may not be in Eureka, so this is our chance to be heard in person. The Balloon Track update will follow the mill update.

It looks like the mill is being moved toward opening as is with the promise that they will build a treatment facility that will take 2-3 years to build.  That means toxic chemicals in the ocean for 2-3 years.  We will all suffer if this happens.  Can the earth continue to take all this abuse?  animals?  the ecosystem?  We need to pay attention!

 
The North Coast Regional Water Board will discuss the pulp mill.  The meeting will be March 25 at 9AM.  Other issues will also be discussed.
There will be a time for public comment.  This may be our only chance to be heard.  Later meetings on the mill may be held in Santa Rosa.  Freshwater Pulp wants to start up without meeting environmental standards. They talk about setting up a time schedule which is code for we will pollute now and promise to clean up later.  Haven't we heard this before?  Remember Evergreen's promises.

They are also asking for a permit to put wastewater into the ocean as part of their clean up.  There may not be monitoring of chemicals exhausted from the mill.    As we have discussed earlier, there are high concentrations of many toxic chemicals in the wells on the millsite including many prop 65 cancer causing chemicals such as hexavalent chromium and arsenic. They are being pressured to clean up the site.  What they are cleaning up are these toxic chemicals.  Does this mean that they can put these chemicals out the exhaust pipes? What is to stop them?

If we don't speak up, we will look out the window one day and the ugly plume and the smell will be back.
 
 In a letter dated February 26, 2010  the Water Board told the pulp mill that their application for a permit was incomplete and that they have to meet environmental standards before they open.  Since that letter went out the Governor's Office has contacted them pushing for a time table to allow the PULP MILL TO OPEN WITHOUT MEETING ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS. They are encouraged to come up with a time table for meeting the standards later.  Furthermore, the pulp mill will be applying for a permit to release water during the cleanup.  The only guarantee we have that they will not release some of the many cancer causing chemicals that are on site is the threat that they will get in trouble if they are caught.   They will be releasing up to 3 million gallons of hot water a day.  Can we say boiled fish?There wil be a meeting of the Water Board at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka on March 24,2010. Next time you hear a politician crying crocodile tears about global warming holding his/her recycled coffee cup,think of the pollution they allow and promote.