According to a Press Release from the Center for Biological Diversity,
"California for Alternatives to Toxics and the Center for Biological Diversity today notified the Environmental Protection Agency of their intent to sue the agency for failing to review and update Clean Air Act rules for certain polluting pulp. The 60-day notice focuses on New Source Performance Standards for kraft pulp mills, which dissolve wood chips into fibers later used to make paper products."

"Kraft pulp mills emit a substantial amount of air pollutants, including particulate matter, sulfur compounds, nitrogen oxides and volitile organic compounds. Only two of these pollutants, particulate matter and sulfur compounds, are currently subject to the performance standards.  If EPA does not act quickly to update the standards, the groups intend to file a lawsuit and seek a court order requiring the agency to review the standards to ensure that all significant air pollutants from kraft pulp mills are addressed."

For your nearest kraft pulp mill, you only have to look out the window or look toward Humboldt Bay at Freshwater Tissue Co./ Samoa Pulp Mill.  We who live near this mill have long complained about the air we breathe when that mill is in operation.  We have not received a lot of help from the local air district.  In the past there was only one air quality station and it only tested for particulates.  Now there are three. Sometimes they may test for other chemicals, but it is not often.  Since testing is skimpy, it is our word against the pulp mill.

Thank you Center for Biological Diversity and Californians Against Toxics.
7/23/2010 02:14:22 pm

I can only assume that this is referring to the federal EPA instead of the California EPA, because almost all of the compounds listed, if not all, were already monitored and controlled at the Samoa mill. If it is the federal limits the suit is about, I expect little to no effect to Freshwater Pulp because the pulp mill was operated under the state limits, which were already more strict then the federal ones. When we former workers say that the Samoa mill is one of the cleanest in America we aren’t blowing smoke. Every time I had a chance to talk to workers of other mills they we surprised to hear the emission limits we operated under and even more shocked to hear that we could meet those limits. The people that want the mill to stay closed have be grasping at straws and using misinformation to scare people into fighting the restarting of the mill. Most of the problems at that mill have been BODs and Particulates, which are overviews of water quality and air quality respectively. They bring up these problems then start talking about some of the more hazardous emissions of the kraft pulping process, which, to my knowledge, never been a problem for the mill to stay under the legal limits and some of which are not even generated at the Samoa mill because of the TCF bleaching process

7/23/2010 02:20:02 pm

I think Mr. Simpson has the support of most environmental conscience organizations. This mill looks like they can be a standard bearer for pulp mills in the future. I just hope all things go smoothly from here on.

7/23/2010 02:24:35 pm

The CATS suit will do this mill a big favor,,,,,THANK YOU !

Shoot in foot I'd say ....

7/23/2010 02:27:33 pm

The Responsible Solution
The impacts of pollution have never been more apparent and sickening, than the images televised from Beijing, China during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. At present, China is willing to overlook pollution to expand its economy. The cost of their decision is unclear.

China is not the only developing country experiencing horrific pollution problems. Virtually every developing country selling products to the United States and other industrialized nations is suffering from environmental devastation. This includes Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam. The common thread between these countries is cheap labor, unconstrained pollution, and U.S. consumer demand.

For the past three decades, the U.S. pulp and paper industry has struggled financially to comply with forestry regulations, conform to clean air and water quality standards, and absorb rising labor and health care costs. Because pulp and paper products are produced and traded globally, these costs cannot be passed through to the American consumer. In response, U.S. companies are closing operations, and relying on pulp producers in developing countries where inexpensive plantation timber is abundant, cheap labor is readily available, and pollution goes unchecked.

The new business model for U.S. tissue producers is to dispose of U.S. pulp mill assets, and serve as a converter, brander, and marketer of finished products. These converting companies install tissue converting plants around the world. They buy parent rolls of tissue paper from the least expensive supplier for reprocessing and packaging into finished products, such as tissue and toweling. They protect their markets through branding and advertising.

This new model allows U.S. pulp and tissue companies to sell or close their pulp mills, and effectively export jobs and industrial pollution to developing countries. From a purely economic position, this may improve financial results. From an environmental and social perspective, it is irresponsible.

During a recent meeting with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), an executive of the Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers (AWPPW) cited a situation in Bellingham, Washington, where a paper plant closed, and the employees were informed the mill could no longer compete in the global market. The equipment was sold, and put back into production in China. Everything was exported except the pollution controls!

FPC believes the responsible solution is to preserve U.S. regional markets for forest residuals, maintain a U.S. industrial base, minimize industrial pollution, provide U.S. family wage jobs, and impose global standards for pollution emissions.

7/23/2010 04:17:21 pm

I'm glad to see local enviro organizations Center for Biological Diversity and Californians Against Toxics finally trying to do something to make sure environmental laws are actually enforced here.

7/24/2010 02:38:23 am

If this is such a clean mill, why will it take until 2014 for them to meet the standards of the Clean Water Act?

Why were they fined for "effluent limitation exceedances March 1, 2005- December 1, 2008 $900,000? This fine could have been more than $59,297,999,000. No I did not make a mistake in typing the number. That is the number that is in the public record. Why did they lose their water permit? It was not because they were not operating. It was because of the violations. Check the record. It is all on the Water Board site.

In a letter dated June 24, 2010 the EPA said, "The existing facility has been operated by previous owners in a state of noncompliance with Clean Water Act ("CWA")requirements for many years. We are concerned that the new owner Freshwater Tissue Co., has decided to reopen and operate the existing facility, which cannot achieve immediate compliance with effluent limitations that all existing facilities must meet in order to discharge under the NPDES program. Moreover, Freshwater Tissue has offered no clear assurances that actions necessary to comply with the new permit as soon as possible are being taken....The fact sheet states that the RPA (Reasonable Potential Analysis) shows reasonable potential for discharge to exceed the Ocean Plan Table B objectives for HCH, TCDD equivalents, and total DDT."

Look it up. It is all there in the public record. We don't have to make this stuff up.

7/24/2010 03:55:30 am

WHY do you ask the same questions over and over .When they have been answered over and over .Just go back on this blog and people you'll see the answeres.
This site just likes to keep up the same misleading questions going out like some kinda gotcha moment.

7/24/2010 05:08:42 am

It is all about the science, the water tests, and the violations that are all part of the record. Check on the North Coast Regional Water Quality Board website.

Also fun is Geotracker where all the tests on the wells on the Samoa Pulp mill site are listed. Chemicals that are listed as being over the reporting level in 2010 include arsenic, chromium, Tetrachloroethene (PCE), Trichloroethene TCE, hexavalent chromium, manganese, chloroform, nickel, total dissolved solids, ciis-1,2-Dichloroethene, chloroform and vinyl chloride. Most of these are on the proposition 65 list of chemicals listed as known causes of cancer and birth defects by the state of California.

Bob Simpson
7/24/2010 05:25:02 am

To All:

I applaud CATs effort to hold EPA accountable when necessary. We agree with a portion of the claim Cat’s will likely make should they proceed with filing a lawsuit, but a portion of their claim will likely be dismissed. Please find below our recap of Cat’s letter to EPA.

What CATS is threatening is a lawsuit to compel EPA to review “new source performance standards” (NSPS) at pulp mills) for purposes of updating them periodically. NSPS rules can, but typically don’t, apply to a mill like the Samoa mill. This would take far too long to explain.

One caveat – though the proposed lawsuit is mainly about a violation of a timetable for reviewing and updating NSPS rules, they’ve thrown in a request for development of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions guidelines applicable to existing pulp mills. That’s a totally different subject. We don’t think there’s a basis for arguing that EPA has violated any timetable for creating GHG standards for either new or existing facilities, and if we are right that part of the claim will be rejected and we would be surprised if Cat’s pursued it in court. Judges can only compel action by EPA if there’s a violation of an emissions standard or limitation or a non-discretionary duty to regulate, and absent a legal, and breached, deadline for promulgation of regulations, there’s no violation and hence no claim.

GHG emissions cannot and will not be ignored – California will start regulating them by 2012, from existing as well as new facilities, and it’s likely the Samoa mill will be a part of that. The Samoa mill is already planning for these new regulations.

7/25/2010 06:07:17 am

Changes are not needed in the sweet by and by. The effect of our excesses are becoming more drastic as we experience changes in climate and damage to species and ecosystems. The Gulf Coast and B.P. Oil accident is just the most dramatic examples of this.

As we learn about more about kraft pulp mills, we realize that they are not simply another polluter. They pose a unique danger to the environment. Dangerous chemicals are released into the water and air by kraft pulp mills.
The Samoa Pulp Mill is a notorious polluter. We cannot let them continue to pollute until some sweet day when they can afford to clean it up.

7/25/2010 01:08:01 pm

It has come to my attention former Evergreen employees are receiving settlement checks for their unpaid medical benefits. The Fed's were successful but can only help those who help themselves by submitting claims.


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