In a letter dated May 24, 2011 from Dave Parson of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board, a list of tasks the Water Board will perform in the July 2011 to June 2012 fiscal year was outlined. Freshwater and Louisiana Pacific will be charged $150 an hour for time spent on the mill. Some of the tasks mentioned include monitoring pollutants at the site, working on the remediation plan and public participation.
Surprisingly public participation was mentioned four times" ("Request and implement public participation plan;" "Encourage public involvement in remediation issues at critical points." "Complete initial public participation documents." "Comply with public participation and other needs of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)" This is especially interesting because of the lack of community participation in the cleanup and demolition. Most people in Eureka, Samoa and surrounding areas do not even know it is going on. A copy of this letter can be found on Geotracker.
There is still no information on the report on toxins in the cement in the buildings being demolished that was due to be submitted to the Water Board by May 1, 2011.
It was confirmed by Catherine Kuhlman Executive Officer of the North Coast Regional Water Board that Freshwater Tissue's Water Permit is still in effect. This allows them to put storm water out of the outfall pipe into the ocean. As we have mentioned before, this is a concern because of the toxins at the site from years of making pulp and because of the demolition going on. Water Board members are now aware of this oversight. We trust that they will act to revoke this permit soon. According to the Cease and Desist Order that was approved at the same time as the permit, there are a series of deadlines that Freshwater needed to meet to keep the permit in effect. They have not met any of these requirements and their permit should already have been revoked.
By May 1, 2011 Freshwater should have submitted demolition sampling data to the Water Board within two weeks of starting demolition or by May 1, 2011 at the latest. Information on this submission is not yet on Geotracker.
This morning at the meeting of the North Coast Regional Water Board
several citizens spoke during public comment on Freshwater Tissue Company's Water Permit and the concern that storm water was not being monitored as it was put into the ocean. The information received from the Board was that the Water Permit has been revoked.
HOWEVER, according to staff in Santa Rosa, their Water Permit still stands. What is clear is that once Freshwater said it was not going to make pulp, board members stopped paying attention allowing Freshwater to continue using the outfall pipe without testing for toxins. It is our understanding that once the permit is revoked, Freshwater cannot put anything out of the outfall pipe. On hearing that a demolition was going on, one staff person (Katherine Kuhlman?) responded that she was not aware of the demolition and would look into it.