The Samoa Pulp Mill that is now known as Freshwater Tissue Co. is not as young as it used to be.  It was built in 1965.  As we have mentioned many times,  they have a history of violations.  Several major pieces of equipment have been added as a result of lawsuits.  The plant was made chlorine free after the Surfriders lawsuit in 1989.  In a 2007 lawsuit, they were required to spend $5 million on several pieces of equipment.

But what about the plant as a whole?  In 2005  Tetra Tech, an outside
consulting firm hired by the Air District found that the plant was poorly maintained, smelly and had "active gaseous/steam leads in overhead process piping outside and dry white powder deposits on a wide area of equipment near caustic operations."  From January 2005 through January 12, 2006 "Deviations Evidencing Potential Facility Emission Issues" occured averaging every 5 days (22% of operating days).  In other words, they broke down every 5 days resulting in a release of chemicals into the air.  The money spent in 2007 did not take care of the problems at the mill.  In 2009, they lost their water permit due to violations.  If they spent other money on major upkeep, they kept it secret.

If you look at the cost of a modern pulp mill, little has been spent to keep this pulp mill in shape.  A new pulp mill costs in the billions of dollars. (Kaltime Prima Pulp and Paper Indonesia 1.5 billion, Suzano Pulp Brazil 1.3 billion, Protavia Pulp Australia 1.2 billion) Freshwater plans to spend only 15 million to improve environmental and operating performance, money they haven't raised yet. Meanwhile, they cannot meet environmental standards.  They are looking for a permit that doesn't bring them into compliance with the Clean Water Action until Sept. 2013.

Anyway you add it up, it doesn't equal a clean, green plant.

6/29/2010 10:52:36 am



Leave a Reply.