In reading the draft water permit, it is clear that when Freshwater Tissue releases pollutants into the Pacific Ocean the consequences for the environment will begin immediately and will be a sure thing.  Those pollutants cannot be taken back.  However, monitoring and enforcement are slow and unsure.  Freshwater Tissue has admitted that it cannot meet environmental standards and will pollute.  Much of the draft permit deals with monitoring, how often Freshwater Tissue is required to submit reports and what is to be included in these reports.  If these reports show too much of a pollutant, they must submit more reports more frequently.  Minimum sampling frequency for chemicals like hexavalent chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and benzene if twice a year.  Does this mean that the mill could put out large amounts of hexavalent chromium for 6 months before it was sampled?  Consequences of violations are not spelled out in this permit and are not a sure thing.  While the permit allows the Water Board to shut down for violations, this does not appear to be automatic.  It seems to be at the discretion of the Water Board. Fines are not ruled out, but are not spelled out in this permit.  While outside companies may be brought in, much of the monitoring is done by Freshwater Tissue.  Since past owners have not shown themselves to be honest (Evergreen Pulp) and Mr. Simpson seems to disrespect environmental laws (See the Humboldt Herald), this does not give us a lot of confidence that we will be protected from pulp pollution.  One thing is clear.  Humboldt County and the people who live here will be the biggest losers if this permit is approved.
Realworld
4/14/2010 08:02:38 am

Shuffold and re-stacked misleading Pulpmill fiction.
Good language skills, Does your wrighter work for Faux news?

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Morgan
4/14/2010 02:40:49 pm

Really, real world? Do you have an actual counter argument??? Do you have any information that contradicts this? Or are you just going to make empty statements?

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dedicated westender
4/14/2010 05:33:02 pm

The fact is that if Freshwater TP Copmpany start polluting, the only way that anyone is going to find out about it is by being harmedd by it or by Freshwater actually reporting that they are polluting. Then what? Well, then the water board will ask them to submit a report and another report and maybe fine them. It would be nice if we could prevent this from happening by making them meet the standards first by designing a plant that eliminates the illegal polutants and doesn't just let them go until some future date. Isn't that what regulations are all about? Huh?

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Realworld
4/15/2010 12:52:13 am

The arguments have been going on with point counter point for weeks where you been.
So you want things gone over again just because of your lack of knowledge ? Do some real research and ask a real question first.
On October 24, 2006, the previous owner of the Samoa mill issued a human health risk assessment (HHRA) document to the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD). The engineering work was completed by CH2MHILL of Redding, California.

In summary, the cancer and chronic health risks associated with the Samoa mill’s emissions are below the NCUAQMD significance thresholds for worst-case residential and worker exposure scenarios. The acute health risk exceeds the NCUAQMD threshold, based on estimated acrolein emissions from the pulp dryer. In July 2007, additional lime kiln work was completed that reduced emissions below their reported level.

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Realworld
4/15/2010 01:17:46 am

1995 John Hopkins Study - Health
Profile Of Pulp Workers (2 mb)

Study concludes, “The results of the study indicate that all workers in the pulp and paper industry do not have significantly higher rates of mortality from all causes or from any specific cause of death compared to the US population and, in fact, usually have significantly lower mortality ratios than the comparison population.”

1997 Receiving Water Study Part A (9 mb)
1997 Receiving Water Study Part B (8 mb)
1997 Receiving Water Study Part C (6 mb)

Study concludes, “Evaluation of the available data, including statistical, graphical, and tabular comparisons, indicates that no significant increase in sediment contaminants or bioaccumulation has occurred as a result of the discharges. Furthermore, there is no evidence that benthic infauna or epibenthic fish and invertebrate communities have been adversely affected by the discharge. These findings are consistent with the improvements resulting from the outfall extension and changes in plant processes.”

2007 Receiving Water Study (8 mb)

Study concludes, “The data collected over the course of this study do not suggest that the Mill’s discharge has the potential to negatively affect DO (a measure of BOD) or sediment quality in the receiving water under the range of typical discharge conditions. This is consistent with the findings expected because of the nature of the discharge, prior receiving water studies, plume modeling, and DO depression estimates.”

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Realworld
4/15/2010 01:29:50 am

West ender,,,
FTC intends to create an advisory board comprised of environmental advocates with a passion for clean water, fresh air, and preserving the redwood forest. The advisory board will have complete access to all company environmental records. FTC staff will prepare monthly environmental performance reports for advisory board review and comments, and post them on the company’s Web site.

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Realworld
4/15/2010 01:37:56 am

West ender,,,
It would seem,you as a "environmental advocate with a passion". Might find joining this advisory board a good Idea.
Contact FTC ,,,

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4/15/2010 04:40:17 am

I am glad that Realworld brought up the health risk assessment which had a lot more to say about cancer risk and the pulp mill than they quoted. "The cancer risk at the point of maximum impact is about 35 in 1 million. However, the PMI is located on the facility's north fenceline, which is not a residential or commercial/industrial receptor." This is well over the accepted 10 in a million level. One wonders who owns this land and how workers are not impacted.

"However, the modeled maximum acute hazard index exceeds the NCUAQMD (air district)significance threshold."

"Hexavalent chromium and acetaldehyde emissions contributed a majority of the cancer risks at both MEIR (residntial) and MEIW (worker)locations. Acrolein is the greatest contributorof chronic and acute risks, accounting for 99.6 percent of acute hazard index."

"Of the TACs (Toxic Air Contaminants) hexavalent chromium contributes the most cancer risk."

The report presents far from a glowing picture of the mill and health risks presented by the mill despite the fact that it was prepared by Tony Jaegel who is a former employee of the mill under Louisiana Pacific.

Why was this report never finalized? Why wasn't it released to the public?
Was it because among other things no one wanted the public to see the maps that show pictures (p.5-2) that show the Plot of Hazard Index for Acute Exposures and the Plot of Lifetime Cancer Risk for Residential Exposures extending like an evil hand through Samoa and West Eureka.

Parts of the Health Risk Assessment can be downloaded on this site.

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Bolithio
4/15/2010 05:18:31 am

Beyond all the pulp-fiction and sensationalism here, you guys need to consider the big picture here.

I too would like to live in a world where our technology was harmless to the environment and humans. Since we don’t, do I, as a citizen of the most privileged country in the world accept some level of pollution to meet the needs of my society? I know in the back of my mind that our culture is evolving and over time our economy/infrastructure will adapt to the newest science and innovation. But Im also aware that I wont live to see most of the real important changes. So do have some patience and live the best you can to facilitate the change within your short lifetime?

OR

Is it more responsible to oppose everything that may cause any potential harm? Here, while my quality of life (or future generations) is potentially much better, I have to swallow the fact that I am offsetting this diminished quality to another place. Between consumption and population trends, it is clear that the demand for resource and industry will not go away simply because we decide not to do it here. I also have the hard time reconciling that the most likely locations for these offsets are places were there are little or no regulations (from environment to human rights). Is reducing our potential localized pollution at the expense of other people around the world appropriate for the wealthiest nation – or is it an entitlement?

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4/15/2010 05:33:36 am

Environmental laws are put in place to allow a certain level of pollution, but to prohibit pollution that is a danger to people or the environment.

This pulp mill if it starts up will not be in compliance with the law. It will take up to 3 years for it to comply with the law. The Samoa mill is notorious for its violations.

Apparently the mill owners think we who live here are not very smart and that they can call this ugly polluting facility green and violate the Clean Water Act at the same time.

What is all this concern for people in China and Thailand and lack of concern for people here in Eureka?
Maybe we should allow lead in children's toys too.

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Realworld
4/15/2010 06:10:21 am

West,
qouted
"Apparently the mill owners think we who live here are not very smart and that they can call this ugly polluting facility green and violate the Clean Water Act at the same time."

EPA grants the power to the water quality board to make such permits.
If said permit is given to the mill,It hardly means they will be in violation of any thing (water discharge). Thats how the clean water act works.
If you dont like how the law works lobby for change.
Busting on the mill is hardly a stong stance. Make a real stand,,Go to congress and address your issues with the EPA.

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Beatingdeadhorse
4/15/2010 06:19:13 am

West,
Again,,,
1995 John Hopkins Study - Health
Profile Of Pulp Workers (2 mb)

Study concludes, “The results of the study indicate that all workers in the pulp and paper industry do not have significantly higher rates of mortality from all causes or from any specific cause of death compared to the US population and, in fact, usually have significantly lower mortality ratios than the comparison population.”


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Spitshitsays
4/17/2010 03:18:01 am

F-in enviro-Poser's...
U give a shiiit less about the real enviro- hazareds,,,Its all about the back door view is'nt it ?
Send it overseas and your OK ?
F U U cheap arse poser.s

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Frank
4/17/2010 05:57:49 am

Everyone, whereever we live, should, and in a sense only can, fight for 'our own backyard'. Just because my 'back yard' includes the Somoa Pulp Mill doesn't mean I'm ingnorant and unaware of facts. The owners of industrial facilities, whatever kind, can always cite 'studies' that support the environmental benignness of their operation. Even Nassey Energy, in whose Big Branch mine 29 miners, could cite 'safety awards' it had received. Part of the problem with these 'studies' is that many if not most are paid for by the owners of the facility they are studying. Citing a 1995 study by (some one or group) at John Hopkins, out of context, doesn't really tell us much.I have read CH2MHILL's October 2006 Study. What 'realworld' says is technically true but again this was a study paid for by Evergreen and, in my opinion, CH2MHILL of Redding has a history of providing 'thumbs up studies' for local environmental regulation issues. Earlier on this blog, HSU studies relating to the mill were referenced. Richard A. Paselk, Professor of Chemistry at HSU (who retired in 2004) was Chair of the HSU Chemistry Department,I believe, from 1986 to 1988 and from 1995 to 2004. At some point before Evergreen left I believe Dr. Paselk's daughter Deborah had a job at the mill. The only point I am trying to make in saying this is that communities dependent on a narrow industrial base tend to develop a cultural and socio-economic structure that self validates the industry in question. Coal mining, coal miners and coal mine owners in Appalachia is a classic case in point. Humboldt County, with its history of dependency on first the lumber industry, then the pulp mill, and now on pot and - maybe-the pulp mill again presents a similar situation. Trying to speak out against the pulp mill in North Humboldt County is literally like trying to talk athesism in a communtiy dominated by "that old time religion". Again I encourage people interested in this pattern to read H.P. Lovecraft's alagorical story " The Shadow of Innsmouth". This is especially appropriate because Innsmouth is a sea coast community dominated by a facility known as the Marsh refinery. To quote briefly, "He found the Marsh refinery a queer place--books in bad shape, and no clear account of any kind of dealings". Again I encourage reading the story to see how this all comes out. I recently saw Massey Energy's CEO Ed Blankenship, on TV. He was dressed in red, white and blue addressing a Tea Party crowd bad mouthing the concept of mand-made climate change. This is the same Mr. Blankenship who has in the past made light of government mine regulations. I'm troubled when I see these two denials linked by a supporter of Freshwater on this blog. Finally, I would also refer readers to the cover story of the North Coast Journal for July 1998. This story covers Lousiana Pacific's Western Division under original General Manager Harry Merlo, and his successors. Sixth in the line of succession was Robert Simpson who, according to thie story, was "being groomed as Merlo's replacement". Merlo saw Simpson,according to this story, as "the person who was going to bring California back into the limelight as a profitable operation". However, in 1996, "awash in lawsuits and federal probes, the Louisana Pacific Board of Directors fired Merlo". Simpson apparently lobbied to be Merlo's replacement but was refused by the Board and resigned. This was, of course, at a time when Lousiana Pacific incurred some of the largest environmental fines in US history. Yes, I know the 'glorious story' of chlorine-free bleaching but as a backyarder here in 'Innsmouth' I still have to be convinced there is some reason why I should trust the 'Marsh refinery'.

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Rich
4/17/2010 04:10:48 pm

Frank,

You should check your facts a bit better, as Richard Paselk is still employed at Humboldt State, and did not retire in 2004, nor did Chemistry do any studies on the mill. It does ague to your own care in fact checking. It is also hard to see why his daughter working there should make a difference, even assuming the lack of integrity you imply.

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Frank
4/19/2010 06:00:31 am

Rich,
Perhaps I was in error about Dr. Paselk. I meant that he had retired as Chairman in 2004. But be that the case or not, my point (using the HSU Chemistry Dept. as an example)was how communities structures on narrow industrial bases, as a well recognized sociological practice, developing protective, self-validating processes around said industry. I'm dissapointed to see no comments on this central issue--2004 retirement or no. Isn't anyone out there educated enough to have read at least a little Lovecraft?

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