Most of us are not scientists and are not familiar with the term biological oxygen demand.  Bob Simpson of Freshwater Tissue says, "In short BOD is organic sugar.  You could just as easily refer to BOD as fish food or plant nutrients." (Humboldt Herald) This sounded a little improbable to us, so we looked it up.

Apparently, a high BOD indicates polluted water. Dissolved oxygen is consumed by bacteria when large amounts of organic matter from discharges are present in the water. When oxygen drops below a certain level, fish and other aquatic life die.  Also, growth of weeds and other types of growth can make significant changes in a body of water.

Mr. Simpson acknowledges that this could be a problem in rivers, but not in the Pacific Ocean.  The problem, he says is the EPA standard.  He thinks he knows better.  Mr. Simpson seems to have an outdated view of the environment and the cvondition of the oceans worldwide.
Back when pulp mills started in Humboldt County, it was thought that the oceans were endless.  We could put any kind of pollution in the Ocean and it would absorb it or so they thought.  Now we know differently. Plastic bags sit in an island in the middle of the Pacific.  There are dead zones in the Ocean where there is not enough oxygen to support aquatic life. And then there is the Gulp BP oil spill.  The viable Ocean and coastline of the United States may be permanently damaged.  Mr. Simpson and Freshwater Tissue plan to keep putting B.O.D.s in the Ocean in excess of EPA standards until Sept. 2013.

Mr. Simpson said in the same article, "The only pollution the Samoa Mill cannot comply with is its biochemical oxygen demand."  A look at the violations that led  to the mill losing its water permit shows this is not true.  They were also fined for exceeding the allowed amount of Total Suspende Solids, Absorbable Halides and Aldrin.

For anyone who has not been following this, The Water Board will consider the Water Permit for Freshwater Tissue Co. on June 10, 2010 in Santa Rosa.  This permit will allow them to break the Clean Water Act until Sept 2013 and not be fined for violations in the production of umnbleached pulp.                                     

dedicated westender
5/21/2010 05:12:11 pm

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I mean you, Bob.


Leave a Reply.