An article dated October 5, 2010 in the Humboldt State University newspaper the Lumberjack summarized some of the history of the Samoa Pulp Mill and gave a pretty balanced report of both the environmental and economic problems of the Samoa Pulp Mill/ Freshwater Tissue/ Evergreen Pulp. 

Noteworthy was a quote from Richard Marks. "Our community was basically environmentally raped by Evergreen Pulp." He said that he was disappointed in the environmental stewardship of Evergreen.
We applaud Richard Marks for speaking up.

10/6/2010 06:54:27 am

Marks reminisces about the way things used to be in Samoa. His adult sons moved to Sacramento and San Francisco for work. "I wish there was something here for them."

10/6/2010 01:37:18 pm

During the almost 3 years Evergreen operated the Samoa mill, they installed 2 major air pollution devices - an additional electrostatic precipator (ESP) and a venturi scrubber. They made no significant improvements in water pollution control. The improvements Evergreen made did not come volutarily. The ESP was the result of pressure from the local Air Quality District's APCO, Lawrence Odle (who lost his job soon after). The venturi scrubber was installed as the result of an agreement reached in settlement of a citizen lawsuit under the Clean Air Act. These events show what can be accomplished by the action of ordinary people and responsible government officials. The Lumberjack article notes how Eureka residents were exposed to toxic sulfur gases from the mill "Back in the 1960's, '70s, and '80s --." It does not note that residents of west Eureka continued to be exposed to these gases (perhaps at a lower, but still serious level) until the mill closed in 2008. Jobs and health are both, equally, important. In an ideal world, going back decades, workers at the mill and Eureka residents would have worked together to force the Samoa mill's various operators to provide a healthful local environment or shut down. Unfortunately, like many areas with an extractive economy (timber, fishing, pulping, and hemp here in Humboldt) ordinary people do what they have to in order to survive. Resources run out and now we are left with drugs and rehab houses. Maybe our experience with the mill will be a basis for starting to think about a better future.


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