The appeal of Freshwater Tissue's Water Discharge Permit is proceeding through the petition process at the State of California Water Resources Control Board.  It is now officially listed on their website.  Freshwater Tissue Co.'s permit is being challenged by the League of Eurekans Against Pollution (L.E.A.P.). We will keep you informed.
8/6/2010 10:42:17 pm

Carol,

America is a great country. It allows us the freedom of speech, the right to a fair and speedy trial and a due and fair process. You are an american and you have earned the right to appeal the issuance of our NPDES permit. I would expect nothing less of you.

I extend you an open invitation to visit the Samoa mill and become educated about the pulping process. The days of pulp fiction are behind us.

Speaking of pulp fiction, did you happen to note the time of day you witnessed the black cloud over the Samoa peninsula?

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8/7/2010 03:16:11 am

Mr. Simpson,

I can't believe you are still questioning the black clouds and defending Evergreen Pulp. Apparently you did not live here when Evergreen was up and running. It is common knowledge that Evergreen violated air laws and there were black clouds, and lots of horrible air. They had to pay $5 million in a settlement. That means that they could have been charged much more. The settlement was to prevent a much bigger fine for violating the federal emission standard for hazardous air pollutants by approximately 230%, violating monitoring, reporting and record keeping requirements. They also violated state air pollution control laws for nuisance, opacity, and air pollution maintenance requirements.(E.P.A.)

The answer to the question about what time we witnessed the black cloud is about anytime. It was there more often than not. You are on shaky ground defending Evergreen. We were here. We remember.

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Johanna
8/7/2010 03:29:15 am

There are many, many Eurekans who have experienced the terrible odors and black clouds from the mill. The pollution extends much further as well. Isn't it time our city is set free from this mess and threat to our health?

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Grantst
8/7/2010 03:39:45 am

We are your neighbors. Up untill the mill closed. I lived and raised my family on W-Grant. I worked in that mill 15yrs and 15 in another LP mill. I've seen NO greater than usual cancers in the mills.
No breathing problems with my kids or grandkids. None with my neighbors ever were expressed. And only on a few occasions were odors even detected. I,m sorry for you and yours health problems. BUT I submit that they are yours and not most others .
There for my statment of the few with complaints real or physco-sematic. Efecting the needs of so many now out of work ,,,STANDS
Most of us will now most likely have to move away to find work.Wich adds up to 1000's of individuals effected for life.
The mill has been here since 64. And if you and yours feel it hurt you so bad. Then if you cared for your family you would have gotten them out of here years ago IF its as bad as you claim it to be . But you stayed WHY ?. But now we move so you can breath . Do I sound mad . Come and tell my kids in person why We are effected so much .when after a life time Working there . We must leave ,,When you didnt seem to care enough to move your family for their needs.

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Miranda Blakely
8/7/2010 04:30:12 am

If it is jobs that you are worried about, then it is to environmental causes you ought to look. Jobs of the future are in "green" energies. The demand for such energy solutions is increasing not because most people care for the environment, but because it is a much more viable and economically sound solution for the future. These green technologies are increasing in their sophistication and efficacy so fast it has been impossible for companies to keep up with production.
They are now able to make solar panels that take 10 times as long before needing to be serviced and the additional energies not used are sold back to the gird (energy company) for a credit. There are countless innovative companies coming up with new materials for wind turbines and ways to harness their energy more efficiently so that they can be used even in locations that don't hold prime high wind numbers. Algae that has made a cheaper fuel that goes in regular cars as "gas" has been unable to be sold because they haven't been able to make it fast enough, we are still a couple of years away from making it commercially available. Corporations looking to save money wanting to buy such items in large scale have been unable to because of the lag in production.
If you are so worried about jobs, then why not court one of these countless companies to set up production in Eureka. I know that if you spent a lifetime working in the mill the prospect of change (especially in these hard economic times) seems daunting. And something must be done to boost the economy in Eureka, and we really need that something to not involve the industry we are most known for, marijuana. Unless of course, we began to grow more hemp (without the thc) to use for all of the things that the pulp mill once produced. Hemp can be transformed into paper, clothing, etc. It would be nice to be known in Humboldt for something other than our drug problems and failing economy.
As for your "argument" that the complaints are psychosomatic, I refer you to the hard scientific data collected by the United States Government's EPA as WestEureka pointed out.
I am sorry that you are feeling the economic crunch, I know I am counting every penny, but it's time in Humboldt we band together to try and find some ways to increase jobs for the community in ways that will actually boost revenue for everyone and won't destroy our way of life.

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Oliver
8/8/2010 07:46:48 am

Once again, let's try to be clear about air quality problems and the Samoa Pulp mill. It is simply a scientific fact that over relatively long periods of time a kraft pulp mill, however well regulated, will contaminate it's environment with a certain amount of toxic pollutants on an ongoing basis. These are a health hazard for nearby residents, especially the elderly, children and individuals with certain chronic illnesses. These contaminants fall under the categories of particulants, sulfur compounds, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sometimes odors may be associated with these emissions and sometimes not. Sometimes, under certain weather conditions, they will be associated with a dark stack plume, sometimes not. The real problem isn't the odor or the color of the plume, it's the actual toxic emissions that exist in the air around the facility. People who don't want the Samoa mill as a 'neighbor' aren't really complaining about bad odors; they're basing their position on medical and environmental facts concerning chronic air pollution. While it's true that the level of this pollution may be 'low' at any one time, it's chronicity can be deadly. And then there are intermitent "breakdowns" when the neighborhood is flooded with short term high level toxicity. Anyone who doesn't think this is true can consult the literature on kraft pulp mills and/or the records of the local air quality control office.

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Cricket
8/8/2010 10:28:05 am

I'm willing to give Mr. Simpson the benefit of doubt as he may not have been in Eureka at the time, but I find it hard to believe that "Grant Street" is unaware of the problems that occurred in August 2005, regarding the discharge of toxic odors/dark clouds across Eureka. The air quality office received over 100 complaints on one occasion. He also must have been oblivious to the numerous "breakdowns" that occurred in August 2005. It is difficult to believe that he was unaware of EPA actions and of citizen law suits that have been filed against the mill - or that over 2,000 citizens signed a petition against Evergreen's pollution during the time they operated the mill. (We organized then, we can do it again). But I think he is aware of the air pollution but can not admit it because he has an economic interest and is willing to accept the health risks for himself. Those of us without an economic interest in the mill will not accept the further damage to our health. I agree with Miranda, now is the time to work for a green economy that will protect our families' health and the environment.

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Bob Simpson
8/9/2010 12:06:12 am

Part of determining whether an event occurred is to gather information, analyze each piece as evidence, and determine whether the information is fact or fiction.

One of your claims is the Samoa mill, during Evergreen Pulp operations, emitted black clouds. One of the pieces of information needed to determine whether this event occurred is to review the pulp mill daily operating reports to see whether there was an upset in the mill. To do so, I need a specific date and time of the event. This isn't any different than what NASA would do if someone claimed they had seen a U.F.O.

I have interviewed dozens of employees to see whether any of them witnessed the even you described to me. Each of them believe what you are seeing is the sun going down behind the mills vapor plume, which in fact could make the plume appear dark. From my discussions with you, I would expect you to have logged the date and time you witnessed a black cloud, and whether the black cloue was accompanies by an abnormal foul odor. If so, this would allow me to review claim vs. taking your word for it.

I do find it ironic that you expect me to believe your black cloud claim just because you tell me it is so, when you dispute my sworn testimony to the State Water Board.

You are correct, I lived in Ukiah when Evergreen operated the Samoa mill.

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bolo
8/9/2010 04:40:32 am

Simpson, it is so good to hear that Evergreen has records to consult. Maybe we can subpeona them. You gave an interview last year when you said that Tsang had removed all the records, didn't you?

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Bob Simpson
8/9/2010 05:08:18 am

All industrial plants with NPDES permits or Title V air permits are required to keep environmental records. You are welcome to seek a subpoena though. Of course that would require a lawsuit against Evergreen, and given their unknown status, I don't think that would be the best use of your time or money.

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Cricket
8/9/2010 06:36:49 am

Mr. Simpson,
The 'dark cloud' is not the primary issue and you are misinterpreting my statement by trying to make it seem I have naive ideas about plume opacity and particulate content. I know that meteorological conditions affect plume opacity and that professionals receive special training in this area. What I am talking about is an event of unusual high toxic air emssion from the Samoa Pulp mill that was observed by many Eureka residents at the time. This event took place in August 2005, I am pretty sure in the first week of the month. I'll have to check my records for a specific date. At any rate, the local air quality office received over 100 citizen complaints at the time, some from as far away as Cutten. I'm sorry but this really happened. By the way, in the spring of 2005, I was in my front yard and some people from the Bay area stopped to look at property for sale across the street. They came over to talk to me and asked my what that terrible odor was? I'm sure this was another exceptional breakdown event and the odor was very strong but not as strong as the first week in August. I'll get back to you with more specific dates and references for this time period when I have time to go through my records.

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Frank
8/9/2010 06:47:59 am

Speaking of the August 2005 breakdown emission, I also remember this and I have some journal notes concerning it. In fact, I was standing in front of the County Courthouse with a group protesting Evergreen when I first became aware of the event. But, I wanted to make a contribution to this blog on another subject. It is my understanding that Robert Simpson was General Manager for Louisiana Pacific, following Joe Wheeler, in the mid 1990s when L-P Western Division went belly up under massive environmental fines. I've also heard that Bob had hopes of taking Harry Merlo's vacated position at the time and was turned down by the L-P Board. I think it's also the case that Bob Simpson's father, Lee Simpson, was a long time L-P director or official. I can't help wondering - since "T.P." feels free to speculate about personal motivations - if a part of Bob's motivation in trying to revive the Samoa dragon isn't to make good in the eyes of the father?

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T.P Wypins
8/9/2010 06:55:59 am

To Mr Simpson
And the rest here.

In August of 05,we did have an event. It was whats referred to as condensate. We had a "back-up"of it for a few days. Stinks like hell,,,,Maybe Mr Simpson can enlighten you as to its propertys.

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Cricket
8/9/2010 07:17:41 am

I checked my records and the date was August 4, 2005 and the time was approximately 5:30PM.

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Patrick
8/9/2010 07:40:53 am

I've been following the discussion of the August 2005 event with interest. Let me share my own observations and the result of my research. Let me say, however, regarding T.P. Wypins' "Stinks like hell" comment -- again, odor and plume color per se are not what's at issue, it's emission toxcity; in this case an unusually strong TRS emission. First from my journal. August 4, 2005, 5:30PM-- "Unusually strong TRS odor near Court House. Walked west, odors get stronger;congestion in throat, dizziness, nausea. 6:30 PM, observation from 6th and C St.: Sky suddenly dark to west obscurring sun, sky light blue to east, vivid contrast.Fog gathering over Bay. 7:00 PM, 7th & Broadway fog over Bay totally obscures mill, intense TRS odor. 8:30PM, 7th & Broadway, TRS odor mostly gone." Now to continue with my journal: "8-5-05, phoned Jason Davis (acting APCO at air qualigy office). Davis said he received enough complaints yesterday to cause him to declare yesterday's emission a "public nuisance" and that Evergreen will be required to respond." End of journal entry. I tried for some time to get official documents concerning the August 4 event but with no success. Finally, on May 30, 2007 I received a response from the NCUAQUMD in response to a public information request saying that I could come in and look at all records relating to accidental toxic air emissions in August 2005, emission reports and breakdown reports. Records concerning fines and fees assessed, legal actions taken, and court documents were not subject to public disclosure at that time due to a pending enforcement action. Among other documents I have a recovery boiler 24 hour emission concentration summary for 8-4-05. In other words, the event did happen and I have actual hour by hour emission readings from Evergreen documenting what took place. Basically this was a shutdown due to temporary lack of chips, as best I understand.

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Bob Simpson
8/9/2010 08:18:56 am

Thank you for the information. We will search through Aug. 2005 environmental files.

With regards to the odor releases, it is generally foul condensates captured by the steam stripper. In the past, the condensates were directed to the incinerator and burned. Periodically, the incinerator fails and a pressure release valve puts the condensates directly to atmosphere. When this occurs it is the equivalent of a skunk. In other words, a little bit goes along way. In the future, the condensates will be re-directed to the boiler and burned there. This will eliminate this type of occurance.

Frank, with regards to the LP legacy, your information is correct right to the point about my personal motivation. Sure, I have a special relationship with my father, who is 76 years old. But my father is not the reason I acquired the Samoa mill. In short, I came back to complete a vision I had.

I remain the only person in North America to commit a pulp mill to chlorine-free/dioxin-free bleaching. By definition, that makes me the pioneer of the process. I believe we have an opportunity to pioneer technology that will change the pulping world. I also believe pulp mills are the ideal industry to make algae bio-fuel.

Algae likes warm water, BOD, CO2, and it hates chlorine or chlorinate residuals. That makes chlorine free pulping a natural for producing bio-fuel from algae. In other words, our water treatment plant could serve two purposes. It can reduce BOD and produce algae, which in turn is used to create oil for biofuel processing. We should also be able to re-direct stack emissions to the water treatment plant and eliminate air emissions.

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chuckles
8/9/2010 01:30:23 pm

You mean the water treatment plant that you haven't built yet? That one?

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Bob Simpson
8/9/2010 11:49:11 pm

That's worth a chuckle! Yes. The one we haven't constructed.

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T.P.Wypins
8/10/2010 01:48:47 am

Chuckles ! Yes, thats what this blog is worth , chuckles. We explane stink, They insist toxic death with every breath . Yes, chuckles,,,,,
I'm glad the EPA understands reality.

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8/10/2010 04:55:39 am

Once again, I will quote the EPA on Freshwater/Samoa Pulp Mill.

"The existing facility has been operated by previous owners in a state of noncompliance with Clean Water Act") 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 necessary to comply with the new permit as soon as possible are being taken." (June 24, 2010)

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T.P.W
8/10/2010 05:40:27 am

West;
"Once again, I will quote the EPA on Freshwater/Samoa Pulp Mill."

OK,,,,,,
Let me try a qoute, West.

The State Water Board unanimously voted to approve the NPDES permit to allow Freshwater Pulp to start the mill.

Opps; Look at what qoute I found.

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T.P.W
8/10/2010 05:42:39 am

Sorry that was July 15 of 2010,,,,,,

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8/10/2010 05:56:24 am

Once again, the State Water Board did not vote to allow the Freshwater Tissue Co. to start up. It was the North Coast Regional Water Board. The State Board now has an appeal of this decision. We will see what they will do.

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T.P.W
8/10/2010 06:19:04 am

Semantics,,,,,,,,Its all EPA,,,,

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Frank
8/10/2010 01:39:14 pm

My appreciation to Mr. Simpson for being upfront about the L-P heritage. I also acknowledge that the change to non chlorine bleaching was a significant advance--although I think too much emphasis on it tends to obscure Louisiana Pacific Northwest's serious environmental problems in the 1990s. Furthermore I don't think your skunk odor analogy is honest. As various opponents of the mill on this blog keep trying to explain, the problem with pulp mill air pollution is not odor per se but a tendency for chronic low level toxic air contamination in the near environment--with or without odor. This is a well attested scientific fact and trying to deny it is on the level denying evolution or man made climate change. As you explain, this is where the pollution control system is crucial. One of the primary reasons I am skeptical about pulp mills and environmental safety is because the efficency of these systems tend to vary with changes in management and economic conditions.

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T.P.W
8/10/2010 02:12:52 pm

Frank'
Hi there,,,
So , kinda like the car you drive.
I mean a simple analogy here, Because thats honest.
Learn more then just internet copy and paste.
Its one kick arse mill man .Green baby green,,,,,,,,Leading edge and thats fact.
You guys just dont understand what "In violation ",in the industrial World means. The EPA does and most others do !
But to make it fair . Next time I drive past the sewer plant I'LL think of you all.

Wypins


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Bob Simpson
8/11/2010 03:45:50 am

We are very confident the State will uphold the North Coast Regional Board's decision. But time will tell.

My comments on "skunk" like odors is accurate, and the installation of the Venturi scrubber and other pollution prevention equipment installed by Evergreen prior to closure put the pulp mill in full compliance with it's air permit. I have no concerns about complying with future air emission standards.

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8/11/2010 09:54:19 am

May 19, 2010 the E.P.A. sent a letter to Mr. Simpson that said, "This letter identifies potential compliance issues related to the Clean Air Act ("Act") National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants...for the pulp and paper industry...The Environmental Protection Agency...discovered these compliance issues during a January 2008 inspection conducted by EPA's National
Enforcement Investigations Center..."

"Prior to the restart, EPA expects that ODS (Oxygen Delignification System) controls will be operational and in compliance..."

These updates have not been done.

This does not sound to me like all of the air pollution issues have been put to rest.

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Plaintruth
8/11/2010 10:22:15 am

"Prior to the restart, EPA expects that ODS (Oxygen Delignification System) controls will be operational and in compliance..."
The up dates were done in the summer of 08,And then the mill shut down before the ods2 went in service. And had yet to be tested.
Simple stuff,,,
YOU GOT BAD INFO AGAIN GUYS.

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8/11/2010 11:49:55 am

I am looking at the EPA letter. It is dated May 19, 2010. The E.P.A. is requiring these updates before they can open. According to the North Coast Regional Air Quality Management District, these updates have not been done.

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Plaintruth
8/11/2010 12:43:28 pm

As I said . They are not yet in-line because the mill shut down. The equipment was installed in our last maintenance of 08.
But everything has been said before.
You get answers,then move along like you didnt. Or you dont understand what the EPA is addressing in the letter.
When the mill runs, The "controls" that are in place. Will be put in-line

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Bob Simpson
8/11/2010 01:32:32 pm

Carol,

It is understandable that you would not be aware of all of the facts. Aftera;;. you only read one side of the correspondance.

Freshwater replied to the Air Board's letter and reminded the air board the work was completed by Evergreen prior to their closure. Unfortunately, the Air Board did not certify the installation because they lacked the manpower to do so. The air board acknowledged our comments but no public document was issued by the air board.

I would like to reiterate my previous statement. I have no concerns about air emission compliance. And either should you.

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8/12/2010 04:30:27 am

A response to their letter does not mean clean air. No one believes that starting up this mill is not going to make our air smellier and more toxic. A kraft pulp mill even at its best is toxic. Unfortunately, this mill is not at its best. It is old and has frequent breakdowns. You can call a turnip a rose, but it will still be a turnip.

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T.P.W
8/12/2010 07:57:38 am

Hey thats that Rose is a Rose qoute;
Changed it to a turnip.
Nice. Kinda like you all twist and turn through the pulp mill facts.

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Steve
8/12/2010 01:58:57 pm

Ok, Bob,
If you're so into transparency, why don't you post your side of the correspondence on the blog?
Though the side she is reading is the LEGAL side of the argument. The outsider's (EPA's) point of view is more objective than the company's point of view.

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Bob Simpson
8/12/2010 11:34:24 pm

Carol,

I suspect you don't know the difference between a kraft pulp mill, a thermal-mechanical pulp mill or a disolving pulp mill. Have you ever toured a pulp mill? It is difficult to win a debate when you don't know the subject matter being debated.

Carol isn't interested in learning the true story about the Samoa mill. That doesn't serve her purpose. I have invited her to the Samoa mill and offered to discuss each of her accusations in detail. She informed me her mind was made up and she had no intention of visiting the mill.

The Samoa mill was originally commissioned in 1965. Carol believes the commission date of an operation determines whether a pulp mill is outdated. By Carol's definition, we need to tear down half the homes in Humboldt County because they are not energy efficient! In fact, the most technically advanced pulp mill in the world is Sodra's mill in Meonesteras Sweden. Did you know that over half of the world's pulp mills were commissioned pre 1965. Shall we shut them all down? Every pulp mill, including the Samoa mill, has been updated with new technology. Granted, the building needs some help but the technical aspects of the mill are sound.

While I am not a fan of Evergreen Pulp ownership, the fact is, EPI invested $26 million in the Samoa mill during its 4 years of ownership. Here is a categorical summary of their investment:

$8.3 million in repair & replacement

$12.7 million in plant improvements

$5.0 million in environmental technology









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8/13/2010 03:02:15 am

According to the North Coast Regional Air Quality Management District, they have received nothing from Freshwater Tissue Co. since the letter from the E.P.A. dated May 19, 2010. Apparently, it is not so clear that the updates have been done.

Unfortunately, many of us know more than we care to about kraft pulp mills. They are nasty and polluting that is why C.A.T.s and the Center for Biological Diversity is taking the E.P.A. to court to update standards for kraft pulp mills.

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T.P.W
8/13/2010 03:49:17 am

Is it true that you "Carol" has only lived here for few years give or take.
Just asking ,,Because I heard youve only moved here a little while back from South-Cal. And I wonder why you moved so close to such a "BAD, TOXIC" place.Or should I say the "Turnip plant"

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Cricket
8/13/2010 06:23:58 am

Why the personal attacks on Carol? There are many of us in west Eureka who are concerned with the mill and the air quality issue. We have done a lot of research over the last six years and we also have our own personal experience. But T.P. and Mr. Simpson prefer to use the same old propaganda & arguments and pretend we are naive-- don't know the difference between a bad smell and TRS, the particulars of a kraft pulp mill, etc. Probably you will never honestly discuss the issue of the air quality, and probably there is no use in arguing with you. However we use this blog to communicate quickly with one another and you are free, of course, to post what you wish but it is petty for you to attack Carol, as if she were the only one concerned about the pulp mill.

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Bob Simpson
8/13/2010 06:49:22 pm

Carol elected to start a blog to continue the spread of pulp fiction. She isn't being challenged on the accuracy of the information.

I invite you to bring the results of your last six years of research to our Samoa office. We will invite academics to review your information and the information generated by environmental engineers. The objective is to seek the facts and eliminate the fiction.

I applaud CAT's effort to challenge EPA. In fact, Freshwater would like to challenge EPA on their "one size fits all" standards for pulp mill BOD. To my knowledge, CAT's has not filed a lawsuit against EPA.

CAT's attorney recently wrote a letter to EPA. To date, no response has been received. If EPA doesn't respond according to CAT's demands, then CAT's will likely sue EPA.

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Bob Simpson
8/13/2010 06:54:38 pm

Sorry for my typing error in the first paragraph of my preceding blog. I meant to say "She is being challenged on the accuracy of her information." It was late!

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8/14/2010 03:59:25 am

Regarding the accuracy of our information, this is why we often quote from government documents. That way there can be no question. Anyone can go to the source of the documents and check our information

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Frank
8/14/2010 07:33:20 am

I don't know if Cricket would take you up on your invitation to bring research information to the mill or not. I know I wouldn't. Anything I have, I'll save for the courts if I have an opportunity. No, the Samoa mill isn't a "dinosaur" because the facility was built in 1965. It's a dinosaur because the economics for it are extinct.

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T.P.W
8/14/2010 11:02:01 am

Cricket;
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.

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

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