The final decision on postponing the hearing on the water permit for Freshwater Tissue Co. will be made this week.  There are revisions being made in the permit.  The revisions will be published for  public comment (30 days).  The probable date of the new hearing is July 15, 2010.
5/25/2010 02:52:09 am

State of California Charles Reed
Regional Water Quality Control Board March 24, 2010
North Coast Region
Executive Officer's Summary Report
9:00 a.m., March 25, 2010
Wharfinger Building
1 Marina Way
Eureka, CA
Item: 6
Subject: Update on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit application for Freshwater Tissue Company, Samoa Pulp Mill
Facility Background
The Samoa Pulp Mill is located on a 150-acre site on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County. The mill began production of kraft pulp in 1965 and, until 2001, was owned and operated by Georgia-Pacific Corporation or Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. Since 2001, the mill has been owned by a succession of owners: Samoa Pacific Cellulose, Stockton Pacific Enterprises, Evergreen Pulp, Inc., and, finally, Freshwater Pulp Company LLC beginning in February 2009 (now Freshwater Tissue Company (FTC)). The pulp mill has the capacity to produce an average of 700 tons per day of bleached and unbleached kraft pulp. Under requirements contained in past NPDES permits for the pulp mill, wastewater created during the pulp production process and energy and chemical recovery processes was discharged to the Pacific Ocean.
Prior to its sale of the pulp mill to FTC, Evergreen Pulp Inc. had submitted an application for renewal of its NPDES permit. Regional Water Board staff developed requirements for a renewed NPDES permit and circulated the tentative order for public review on September 19, 2008. The tentative order included, in addition to effluent limitations applicable during the production of bleached pulp, separate effluent limitations for BOD and suspended solids that would apply when the pulp mill was producing unbleached kraft pulp. Effluent limitations for BOD and suspended solids for unbleached pulp production would have been new limits for the Samoa Pulp Mill and were significantly lower than the limitations for bleached pulp production. Based on past performance, Regional Water Board staff anticipated that Evergreen Pulp Inc. would not be able to comply with the existing BOD limitations for bleached pulp production or the newly applied BOD limitations for unbleached pulp production. The tentative order also included proposed water quality-based effluent limitations for TCDD Equivalents (dioxins and furans), aldrin, HCH, and DDT, as well as extensive receiving water monitoring requirements. Comments of the tentative order were received from Evergreen Pulp Inc., environmental groups, the public, and USEPA.
In October 2008, Evergreen Pulp, Inc. ceased operation of the Facility, stating that the shutdown was in response to unfavorable conditions in the pulp and paper market. In January 2009, the Regional Water Board issued a Notice of Intent to terminate the
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NPDES permit authorizing the discharge of wastewaters from pulp processing to the Pacific Ocean in accordance with 40 CFR § 122.61(b), to prevent the automatic transfer of the existing NPDES permit from the Discharger to any new owner of the Facility. In a public hearing on March 12, 2009, the Regional Water Board adopted an order terminating the NPDES for Evergreen Pulp, Inc. The termination order became effective on April 23, 2009.
2010 Report of Waste Discharge
In December 2009, Bob Simpson, owner of the Freshwater Tissue Company, notified the Regional Water Board staff of his intent to restart operations at the Samoa Pulp Mill in July 2010 and requested an interim NPDES permit that would allow FTC to conduct pre-startup inspection and maintenance activities within the mill and discharge the resulting wastewaters through the mill’s effluent outfall. Regional Water Board staff explained that there was no interim permitting mechanism to cover this discharge and suggested that FTC consider an alternative to an ocean discharge for the maintenance wastewater discharge. For coverage of the anticipated discharge of wastewater from pulp production, Regional Water Board staff requested that FTC submit a NPDES permit application and a complete report of waste discharge. On January 27, 2010, FTC submitted a NPDES application, proposing to discharge wastes from maintenance and start up activities as soon as possible and commence full operations for a bleached and unbleached pulp mill in the 4th quarter of 2010.
Regional Water Board staff informed FTC that conditions in the 2008 tentative NPDES permit, including separate effluent limitations for bleached and unbleached kraft pulp production, would be proposed for any new permit for the pulp mill and that FTC must clearly explain in its permit application how and when FTC would comply with existing effluent limitations for bleached pulp, which were unachievable by the previous mill owners, and with the new significantly lower unbleached pulp limitations.
FTC acknowledged that the discharge could not immediately comply with separate National Effluent Limitation Guidelines for mi

5/25/2010 03:02:21 am

FTC acknowledged that the discharge could not immediately comply with separate National Effluent Limitation Guidelines for mills producing bleached and unbleached kraft pulp and has proposed the construction of a conventional activated sludge biological treatment plant to meet the applicable effluent limitations. FTC has estimated that final design of the treatment facilities, permitting by all affected regulatory agencies and construction will take 2-3 years to complete. FTC has requested that the Regional Water Board adopt an order with a time schedule to comply with the applicable effluent limitations.
Regional Water Board staff has completed its review of the NPDES application and determined that the application was incomplete because there was insufficient detail in the engineering plans to clearly demonstrate that the proposed wastewater treatment system would meet applicable National Effluent Limitation Guidelines and the proposal lacked a clear and defined time schedule to meet final permit requirements. However, based on supplemental information provided by FTC, Regional Water Board staff determined that the discharge of wastes from the maintenance and startup activities
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could qualify for permit coverage under the General NPDES Permit for Low Threat Discharges.
Regional Water Board staff participated in a phone conference with representatives of FTC, along with representatives of the USEPA and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, on March 9, 2010, to discuss the status of the mill startup, outstanding permitting issues, and potential permitting options for adoption of a NPDES permit this summer. At the meeting it was agreed that:
FTC will propose an aggressive time schedule, including interim limitations for BOD and suspended solids, by which the pulp mill will comply with applicable effluent limitations.
Regional Water Board staff will investigate options for establishing a time schedule in a Regional Water Board order.
Regional Water Board staff will prepare a draft NPDES permit for public notice and review, and for consideration by the Regional Water Board at the June 10, 2010 board meeting.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Item Only

5/25/2010 03:35:09 am

I got the information about the probable
change in the hearing date from staff at the Water Board. It is not official yet. We will let you know as soon as we know more.

5/25/2010 03:45:26 am

Thank you ,,,,,,,

5/25/2010 06:26:03 am

Yes ,,Freshwater was just removed from the June 10 agenda,,

8/11/2010 05:20:30 pm

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.

8/16/2010 05:10:02 pm

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep lone.


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