Monday, June 10, 2013
Why are you letting MONEY be more important then your health, your water, your life? Port Townsend Paper Mill, Why not Just Superfund NOW?
"Comment: Commenter 0225 stated that in their community, the largest polluter is Port
Townsend Paper Corporation (PTPC). Extensive health impacts are suffered from the pollutants
emitted at the mill site, including, but not limited to, respiratory distress, seizures, and chronic
asthma. The commenter stated there were strong smells emanating from the mill. The commenter
expressed concern about the increased health impacts from those individuals at the nearby school
Commenter 0225 rejected the acceptable risk levels, as determined in the Benzene
NESHAP, as acceptable in the commenter’s area of residence. The commenter attached two
documents citing Washington Cancer Registry Figures (see commenter attachments 0225.2 and
0225.3), stating that Port Townsend/Jefferson County WA is in the top 3 of 39 Washington
counties for 11 out of 24 types of cancer. The commenter contended that if the mill is operating
within legal limits, those established limits are too high. "
"Comment: Commenter 0225 stated that much of Port Townsend Paper Corporation’s
reported emissions are simply drawn from industry tables rather than from direct measurement.
Attempts to retrieve emissions reports were unsuccessful. There is no point source registry, and
the commenter stated they are unable to locate the central repository for criteria pollutant
reporting. According to the commenter, a memo between the regional air quality authority and
Washington Department of Ecology attached to their comment indicates that PTPC is secure in
refusing to provide certain emissions reports."
"Comment: Commenter 0225 provided a 2009 emissions inventory for Port Townsend
Paper (see comment attachment 0225.1). The commenter noted that the TRI and the Regional
Airs’ Point Source Emissions Inventory are good tools for compiling and understanding
emissions data, but data for many reported pollutants or point sources are elusive. The
commenter pointed out that the inventories do not list several NESHAP pollutants for PTPC. "
"Comment: Commenter 0214 attached a set of five documents (comment attachments
0214.1 through 0214.6) that the commenter believed illustrate a disconnect between enacted laws
and how their actual enforcement plays out, or other areas for attention within the regulatory
system. The commenter’s Attachment B1 is a summary of State laws the commenter contended
that the Washington Department of Ecology has refused to enforce. The commenter’s
Attachment B2 provides examples of misinformation to the public.
Attachments B3, B4, and B5 are 2008 letters calling for Washington Department of Ecology
Industrial Section oversight of Port Townsend Paper. Commenter 0214 also attached a photo
(comment attachment 0214.7) illustrating how the tops of Port Townsend Paper’s stack point
directly at the local hospital. Commenter 0214 also attached two documents in electronic form:
(1) a petition regarding Port Townsend Paper (comment attachment 0214.8), and (2) complaint
summary logs (comment attachment 0214.9).
The commenter stated that the call logs that are on file with the Washington Department of Ecology relate accounts of heart palpitations, migraines, respiratory distress, burning eyes and skin, headaches, sinus and breathing problems, coughing, 201 nausea and vomiting, sleep apnea, and other sleep disturbances, along with daily inconveniences, such as having to change plans to avoid being in certain parts of town when the plume arrives.
The commenter stated that it is notable that midway in the 6‐month spreadsheet, Port Townsend
Paper stopped recording the reasons for the calls after having already ceased to log what they did
about it. "
Posted by Crystal L. Cox at 5:41 PM