Guest Editorial  by Patrick  Eytchison

On March 12, 2009, after repeated violations, the North Coast Water Quality  Control Board revoked the Waste Discharge Permit for the Samoa Pulp Mill.  Now, on July 15, 2010, the Board plans to issue a new Discharge Permit, although not one thing  has changed except that a new owner, Freshwater Tissue promises to do better - and to make some changes in the mill's water pollution control system over a future three year period.  This is not  how the regulatory process should work.

Suppose there is an individual in my neighborhood who raises pit bulls as a business.  However the fence around his kennel is low, has several holes, and on several occasions dogs have escaped and mauled children in the neighborhood.  The city closes the kennel, revoking its license, but a year later a
new pit bull breeder appears  and applies for a license to operate the same kennel. 
Should he be given a new license?  No, of course, until he has increased the height of the fence and repaired all existing holes.  Of course.  But  suppose the new breeder says, "I'll be happy to fix the fence, but first I'll need you to give me a new kennel license so I can sell some pit bulls in order to raise enough money to do the needed fence repairs.  I figure I can do this is two or three years."

Do you think anyone in the neighborhood would allow this? And yet this  is exactly what is going on between Freshwater Tissue and the Water Quality Board.  Freshwater is saying, "Give  me a Waste Discharge Permit   so I can attract investors and raise money to improve its waste discharge system."

Although no one would think of allowing such a procedure in the case of mauling pit bulls, this has become standard procedure for water and air polluting facilities  like the Samoa Pulp Mill while its owners promise - once again - to repair  the holes in its fence.
Sam
6/7/2010 03:14:50 pm

Yeah, like a pack of pit bulls attacking the whole town.

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T.P Wypins
6/8/2010 01:24:03 am

Necessary industries, products and jobs = Mauling pitbulls ?
Okaaa ?

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Patrick
6/8/2010 01:17:23 pm

The point is, while there is a legitimate market for pit bulls, breeders should be held responsible for maintaining containment fencing. It is a well established scientific fact that kraft pulp mills contaiminate their surrounding environment with toxic water discharges and air emissions unless their pollution control systems are maintained (that's the point I was trying to make in using poorly maintained kennel fences as an analogy). Anyone who doubts the seriousness of these matters should consult recent scientific studies on disturbing changes in ocean chemistry around the world as a result of human impact. It no longer makes sense to say "the oceans are big, they'll take care of it". As far as the toxic impact of pulp mills on surrounding air quality, this has been well documented by the extensive "South Karelia Air Pollution Study". Also worth consulting is the work of Kaye H. Kilbourn, MD. For example his 2004 book "Indangered Brains", Princeton Scientific Publications; Burmingham, Alabama.

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dedicated westender
6/14/2010 05:24:11 pm

Right on, Patrick!!! We are tired of the pit bulls that everyone is cuddling up to because they want them to pay our water bills. We can conserve a little and afford to pay our own water bill.

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8/12/2010 01:32:08 pm

All lay loads on a willing horse.

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8/19/2010 06:19:24 pm

Will is power.

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8/30/2010 01:49:11 pm

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law. (Oliver Goldsmith, British writer)

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