In a letter to concerned citizens dated August 9, 2010 Representative Thompson said,

"In efforts to save the mill, I worked with the investors and made contact with a number of state and federal agencies on their behalf.  Unfortunately,  the mill did not qualify for funds or grants through existing government programs.  Apparently, the owners of the mill encountered similar problems when they approached the private sector for investment dollars---there were no takers.

The history of this pulp mill is well known.  The mill has seen many owners over recent years.  The boom/bust of the pulp market, a low-cost reliable chip supply and demanding environmental regulations have always been a challenge.  And while the Freshwater Tissue proposal was an effort to overcome these challenges, the plan was costly and speculative.  The most recent plan for the mill required $400 million to add a tissue manufacturing plant that would use 'green' pulp to make a product consumers wanted to purchase.  In the end, the plan wasn't strong enough to make the case that it warranted the investment."

8/13/2010 02:49:22 pm

Sounds like Mike Thompson thinks the mill is a dead deal.

Bob Simpson
8/13/2010 06:16:53 pm

More pulp fiction. Go to Click on the project support Icon, scroll down and click on Mike Thompson. You will find a letter dated August 6, 2010 written and signed by Mike Thompson.

You may want to check the date of the alleged letter you are quoting. Was it 2009? If so, at that time Freshwater's vision was be an eco-friendly, consumer-ready toiler tissue plant. We were seeking a $400 million loan. Given the collapse of banks and the global economy, it was impossible to borrow the amount of money we needed. Mike's statement was in reference to the quantity of money needed not the quality of the business plan.

8/14/2010 03:41:20 am

The letter from Mike Thompson was dated August 9, 2010.

8/14/2010 07:19:45 am

T.P. recently said we should do more than "cut and paste". I've been wanting to share this since it relates to the issue of air quality. This is, verbatim, Carol Romero's (Evergreen's environmental officer) breakdown report concerning the August 4, 2005 emission incident. "The entire mill was taken down due to lack of chips. Recovery was off liquor at 0615, and the digester was shut down by 0500, Tuesday, August 1,2005. The mill remained down until Thursday, August 4, 2005. The first liquor run went into the furnace at /330, and the digester was at 5.0 rpm at 1600, Thursday, August 4, 2005. On startup the recovery TRS was 5.64 ppm (limit 3.0 ppm) for the first 12-hours averaging period and the digester vent (360 B) vented 19 times for at (sic) total of 10.9 minutes. The kiln venturi scrubber and smelt dissolver had low flow on startup. Emission sources affected by Breakdown: recovert TRS; Digester AreaVent (360 B); low Kiln and Smelt Dissolver scrubbere flow. Period of Excess Emissions: Date, Start: 8/4/05 (Time: 0700); Ended: 8/4/05 (Time: 1830). Correction Measures to Prevent Reoccurance: Startup conditions for mill. When scrubbing medium is first put into scrubbers, the flow does not immediately reach the flow limits. The high concentrations for TRS were limited to the first four hours of startup. The digester area vents were limited first four hours for startup. Carol Romero. Emailed to AQMD 8/5/05, Time 0829. Written report filed: 8/10/05." A Daily Recovery Log for the period in question is attached.

8/14/2010 07:26:46 am

Actually, Bob, the letter from Mike Thompson on your website (which is to the Govenor) is dated August 6, 2010--three days BEFORE the Thompson letter to concerned citizens cited on this blog. I'm perfectly aware you have had to scale back your 'vision'. That's all been reported in the Times-Standard or Psper Age.

T.P Wypins
8/14/2010 11:10:29 am

My point is I live in west Eureka. And I dont see what you claim to see from the mill.

West and Frank'
Of course you wont come to the mill .The truth would be hard to argue.

YOU dont understand what your reading do you !

And again ,,My info is that Carol L Works for a corporate lobbist firm Out of San Francisco that represents some South coast mills. Refute that fact.
Google that truth friends.

8/14/2010 11:13:21 am

Also I love how you all stack up new post after someone corners you for an answer.

8/14/2010 03:35:08 pm

Who is Carol L.? Do you mean Carol Romero?

8/15/2010 01:04:44 am

I Know Carol Romero .And she is an outstanding environmental control officer.

And again ,,My info is that Carol L Works for a corporate lobbyist firm Out of San Francisco that represents some South coast mills. Refute that fact.
Google that truth friends.

8/15/2010 05:15:46 am

That is just funny. Are you saying that someone called Carol L. who is a lobbyist has something to do with this blog? We are flattered that you think that someone would pay us for keeping up this blog. What South coast mills? I didn't think there were any. By trying to get personal, you are sidestepping the issues. You and Mr. Simpson pretend not to understand what we are saying. Patrick's entry is clear. There was a serious breakdown that led to toxic emissions. Rather than bring forth evidence to the contrary, you claim we can't understand or that we have fabricated evidence which consists of quotes from documents that are part of the public record. Where is your evidence that this mill has been safe in the past or will be safe in the future?

T .Wypins
8/15/2010 05:49:26 am

What patrick has found is daily SOP.

And you go right ahead and cover your arse .Yes I am saying your a paid front for South coast mills .Trying to get this mill shut down forever,,For their profits.

You dont have to believe me .
Just check those running this site. Let the money trail answer the question.
Look at the background of "Carol",,
Paid Schill on more than one project.

And when it comes to "side step" Why do most of you refuse to come out to the mill for the truth.
AHHH Debate that.

8/15/2010 05:52:40 am

Again,, I love how you all stack up new post after someone corners you for an answer.

8/15/2010 05:54:42 pm

Interesting that the Support letters include one from the Sierra Club even though the Sierra Club later witdrew its upport at the Wharfinger workshop. I believe it was because by then it had became clear that Freshwater was not going to be the "green" business that was originally touted. Perhaps some of the other letters are meaningless to, as they refer to the plan for the cleanest mill in the country. We all know its not going to be that until sometime after 2013, if ever. In the meantime it will be pollution as usual.

Bob Simpson
8/15/2010 11:54:33 pm

Based on the "2005" information "cut & Pasted" from the alleged Carol Romero environmental file, what did you conclude?

The argument you are making is senseless. First, the age an industrial plant was commissioned does not dictate its ability to perform. Second, people do make a difference. The pace of the leader does determine the rate of the pack. Finally, evolution is all around you and you enjoy a comfortable life as a result of such occurance. The solution to pollution is evolution.

8/16/2010 03:42:14 am

Mr. Simpson knows that Patrick did not make up the information on the operation of the mill in August 2005, because he has the records. Yet, he tries to cast doubt by using the word "alleged".

In regards to "The solution to pollution is evolution." Does this mean that Freshwater Tissue can put junk into the Ocean until 2014?

Unfortunately, we are now experiencing the consequences worldwide of "evolution" as the solution to pollution. Note the floods in Asia and Europe and the huge chunk of ice that just broke off from the Greenland icepack. The oil industry and even some governmental agencies are trying to downplay the effects of the B.P. oil spill, but I'm not eating any gulf fish. How about you? The effects of this oil spill are irreversible.

As for Freshwater Tissue Co., the solution to pollution is not dilution. The days when we could put junk/chemicals/ B.O.D.s into the Ocean and it could take it are through.

Sid Berg
8/16/2010 12:03:37 pm

Nobody can defend the Gulf oil disaster. Its effects cannot be under estimated and I would not support further undersea exploration at these depths.

Bottom line is people in this country are going to need tissue paper. Closing this business is short sighted if it can be run to the highest enviormental standards, and I believe it can.
We have two choices.
#1. Shut it down, sell it for scrap, buy product made in polluting, sweatshops in Asia, further degrading our planet, doing nothing to further our own economy, and risking the loss of our local water rights,face unprecedented water rate increases and watch our funding for maintainince dredging go away, spelling the end of Humboldt Bay as a fishing or deepwater port.
#2. Support the start up of this existing facility, and work with Mr. Simpson and his staff to make sure this mill is brought in to compliance as soon as possible, and continue working with him to make this mill the example for other mills in the world to come up to its standards.
This is more than jobs in our community.
This is about doing the RIGHT THING!
What about grow local, support local?
I have worked in this mill years ago, and if it were under the same management from Louisiana, I would be opposed to it as well.

For the first time in history, we have a local owner that wants to do what is right for the environment,the community and the workers.
Lets work with him to achieve that goal, for our future and the generations to come.
Sid Berg

Grant St
8/16/2010 02:35:27 pm

What part of that report do you understand was the "toxic moment".

The release was of condensate,Smelly not toxic,,,,What your reading Is a daily SOP. Get over your moment of discovery. Its a laugh,,,,,,

Very well stated !

Bob Simpson
8/16/2010 11:27:32 pm


We did find the report Patrick quoted. Anyone can obtain a copy of these reports from the NCUAQMD. The report was properly quoted But you failed to mention the conclusion you reached after reading the report. Please do tell.

Evolution is a good thing. Technology is driven by a need....need for improved gas mileage, safer cars, better heat efficiency, indoor plumbing, and healthy food. By definition, that is evolution. My objective is to make eco-friendly products, and to demonstrate that ecology and economy can co-exist. Do you support my objective?

From my perspective, essential products, such as toilet tissue, should be made in America. It is wrong to export U.S. jobs and pollution to developing countries with no environmental oversight, or human rights laws. The ramifications of this action will lead to global environmental degradation never before experienced. You can't possibly think this is the right thing to do.

Grant st
8/17/2010 01:58:44 am

When you reach the moment of logic and truth with these guys. They run away .Wait a day .Then come out slinging mixed up information and lies. If their stand against the mill was truely based on the truth.Then they would face the mill headon with fact and truth. But as I understand it .None will go out to the mill and learn the truth with their own eyes.
I guess it would be much harder for them to explain away that truth if they did see it for them selves.
GOOD LUCK ,MR Simpson. Most of those I talk to, support the re-start.

8/17/2010 11:20:37 am

This quote has appeared in this blog before, but it bears repeating.
June 24, 2010 E.P.A.
"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 Company. has decided to reopen and operate the existing
facility, which cannot achieve immediate compliance with effluent limitations guidelines that all existing facilities must meet in order
to discharge under the NPDES program. Moreover, Freshwater Tissue has offered
no clear assurances that actions to comply with the new permit as soon as possible are being taken."

8/17/2010 11:23:54 am

Sorry, this is going to be a long comment. There are a lot of items to cover.

First on the list are the black clouds. While I can’t not tell you exactly what you saw because I was not present at the time you witnessed it, I can tell you that none of the operators saw us produce black clouds and if we had put out black clouds our opacity meters would have been off the charts, which they were not. If you are really interested you could try to get the records from Evergreen or they should be public record through the Air Quality Board.

Though I hate to point fingers, I do know that the Fairhaven power plant was having problems with their precipitators at about the same time and that some of our operators witnessed them producing dark smoke at the same time we were receiving complaint calls. Also all of the photos of our supposed black clouds were taken with the sun setting behind the mill which will make a steam cloud look black in the same way a rain cloud looks black.

Next on the list is the breakdown report. The one quoted is actually a startup report, same form though, I think. The air permit for the mill allows for some reasonable excess air emissions for a period of 24 hours after the introduction of the first liquor gun into the boiler. Actually I believe it waves the minimum fees and puts any potential fines at the sole discretion of the Air Quality Board, but I am not totally sure.

So why allow the mill to put out excess emissions during startup? Well there are a few reasons. One could be that some of the environmental controls have to come up to temp or speed before they start working. Another could be that some may not work as efficiently when not under full load.

I believe that one of the main reasons could be the form of measurement used. Almost all the mill’s emissions are monitored in Parts per Million or PPM. This is actually a measure of concentration instead of the actual measure of the volume put out over a given time. Since the emission in question was TRS I will use air as my example. If the pulp mill put out 1,000,000 pounds of air through the stack and had 6 PPM TRS then that would equal 6 pounds TRS.

The fact that PPM is a ratio is very important at startup because it is possible to have higher than normal PPM but actually have reduced emissions. As a theoretical example let’s say that the boiler only had one or its four liquor guns in. One quarter load should mean one quarter air flow. Now say that the mill puts out half its normal flow of TRS. Under those conditions the PPM would be twice the normal amount.

3lb / 1,000,000lb = 3PPM
1.5lb / 250,000lb = 6PPM

The above numbers are only for understanding purposes, I do not know the normal flow rates for the mill.

Next on the list is TRS. Up tell now I really didn’t know too much about what TRS consisted of. I knew that is was a monitored emission of the mill and that it is regulated at a few PPM, but its odor is detectable at a few PPB (Parts per Billion). So I spent yesterday looking up all I could find on it. This next section will be a lot of copy/paste and I will include the links for the sites I found.

“Total reduced sulfur(s), which include hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methyl mercaptan (methanethiol, CH3SH), dimethyl sulfide (CH3SCH3), and dimethyl disulfide (CH3S2CH3), occur naturally in the environment and can also be present in numerous industrial gaseous streams – petroleum refining, natural gas extraction, and chemical operations like the pulp/paper industry. Hydrogen sulfide is the most prevalent of the total reduced sulfurs, and is commonly found in volcanic gases, marshes and swamps, wetlands and mud flats, sulfur springs and decaying organic matter. Additionally, hydrogen sulfide is produced by living organisms, including human beings, through the digestion and metabolization of sulfur containing materials. It must be noted that sulfur dioxide (SO2), sulfur trioxide (SO3) and sulfuric acid mist are not included in the determination of TRS, as these are oxidized sulfur compounds and are permitted and monitored separately from TRS.”

I find the part listing natural sources of hydrogen sulfide really interesting. It supports something I have though for years, that at least part of the odor complains can in fact be the fault of the bay. Back in early 2000 to mid 2002 I worked at a store in the bayshore mall. While employed there I started to keep a tide book under the register. After hearing approximately 200 complaints about the mill odor I can tell you that only about 5 to 10 did not fall within about 45 minute of low tide for the day. In fact just about 3 months ago I was at the mall and overheard two people complaining about the stench form the mill. I knew from the drive in to eureka that the tide was low and I informed them that the mill had shutdown about 1.5 years ago. I told

8/17/2010 11:27:24 am

It was too big and didn't take all of it. Here is the rest.

I told them that what they were most likely smelling was the bay. They venomously told me that it must be all the “garbage” the mill had dumped into the bay and they walked off. My only problem is that the mill effluent goes out into the ocean and to my knowledge always has.

Next I looked up the MSDSs for the four chemicals that make up TRS. I would like to note before working through the list of chemicals that the 5.64 PPM of TRS listed in the above emissions report would be measured in PPB by the time is got over to eureka even with the wind blowing straight towards the city. I am going to list them in order or least toxic to most toxic using LC50 on a rat as my indicator. For those that don’t know MSDS use LC50 (Lethal Concentration 50%) which is the concentration at which 50% of the test animals die. For all the following MSDSs it is a 4-hour exposure on rats.

LC50 rat -- 40,250 PPM
All I really have to say is that is a really big number when compared to the 5.64PPM in the emission report. Also this MSDS has an ACGIH TLV of 10PPM which basically means that you can work safely in up to 10PPM all day long.

LC50 rat -- 1310 PPM
Again a big number compared to that 5.64PPM. It has an ACGIH TWA of .5PPM. Again that is a level set to be safe with long term, repetitive exposures. Even if all that 5.64PPM TRS was Dimethyl Disulfide I would find it really hard to believe that it would be anywhere near the .5PPM limit. It also gives the odor threshold of 8PPB. Since we don’t always smell the mill in eureka and sometime the smell is faint and just barely noticeable, I would expect we float around the 8PPB range. Really this is just a guess by observation of the nose. To really find out air sampling or dispersion modeling could be done or most likely has already been done. If someone can produce such information I would really be interested in reading it.

LC50 rat – 675PPM
I can’t think of anything new to say here.

LC50 – 444PPM
First thing that jumped out at me was that the LC50 dropped, but the TWA went way up. I really have no idea why. If someone can find out, I am dying to know. The paper I linked to earlier stated that hydrogen sulfide is the most prevalent of the total reduced sulfurs. That could mean most prevalent already in the air or most prevalent in the total TRS emissions. Assuming the latter, in fact even if all the TRS was hydrogen sulfide, the 5.64PPM would have been well under the save limit of 10PPM.

What is even more interesting to me is that even if we but a rat directly in the stack, it might die from heat or lack of oxygen, but we could not kill it with TRS even from a startup/breakdown.

I apologize for any typos or grammatical errors; I was typing quick and flipping back and forth to my sources.

I hope this helps inform people and hopefully we can get educated debate instead of the close minded attitude of “we will not let the mill issue rest until we actually see the smokestacks go down and the site is cleaned up.” I have more information if anyone is interested, but left it out because this was getting to long already.

Bob Simpson
8/17/2010 10:11:27 pm


This past Monday about 2 PM there was a large black cloud at the Fairhaven plant. The cause was the position of the sun behind the plume. It went away within one hour. Your view of the pulp mill in 2005 was likely the same scenario.

8/18/2010 03:59:03 am

Simply your right. I do remember that the power plant had a brown-to black discharge during that week. Because we all joked about getting blamed for it.


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