Canton Mill pursues new pollution permit
Evergreen Packaging, a large paper mill in Canton, is seeking a new water pollution permit for the Pigeon River. The paper mill sucks roughly 29 million gallons a day out of the river and uses it in myriad aspects of the paper making process — from cooling coal-fired boilers to flushing chemicals through wood pulp — and then dumps it back in the river again.
The river downstream from the mill is far cleaner today than anytime in the mill’s 100-year history. The Pigeon River was once so polluted few fish species could survive and it was unsafe for people to swim in.
During the 1990s, the mill embarked on a $300 million environmental overhaul, spurred partly by expensive lawsuits.
Environmentalists and downstream communities want the mill to make further improvements. But instead, it seems progress has plateaued. ...
Sergei Chernikov, an environmental engineer in charge of the state permit, said it will take exponentially more effort to make less noticeable improvements as time goes on. ...
Hope Taylor, executive director of Clean Water for NC, disputes that claim, however.
“There is no way this can be called the cleanest paper mill in the world,” Taylor said. ...
A public hearing on a water pollution permit for the Pigeon River by Evergreen Packaging will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Tuscola High School in Waynesville.
For more information on how to comment or about the draft permit, go to h2o.enr.state.nc.us/NPDES/documents/BRPPPublicHearing.pdf.Read the full article