GP continues with plans for four-mile discharge pipeline from Palatka, Florida, pulp and paper mill it says will address water quality issues in St. John's River tributary Rice Creek

LOS ANGELES , June 17, 2011 () – Georgia-Pacific LLC (GP) is continuing with its proposed plan to build a four-mile pipeline to move effluent from its pulp and paper mill in Palatka, Florida, into the St. John's River, company representatives told the Jacksonville Waterways Commission on Wednesday, The Daily Record reported June 16.

GP’s compliance director Mike Curtis said the pipeline project would address water quality issues in Rice Creek, a tributary of the river, associated with its effluent discharge by relocating it through a pipeline to the river.

The commission had requested information about the project but has no administrative authority over it.

Representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the St. Johns Riverkeeper group also attended the information session.

Although the DEP does not believe any technology is currently available to allow GP to release effluent into Rice Creek and meet water quality standards, the Riverkeeper group has long argued that better technology is available.

DEP ordered the Palatka mill to meet the required water quality standards in August 2002, but DEP spokesperson Melissa Long said testing in 2008 and 2010 showed Atlanta-based GP could not meet the required water quality standards for discharge into Rice Creek, The Daily Record reported.

Long said the department had met with the St. Johns Riverkeeper group and was open to new ideas.

The primary source of this article is The Daily Record, Jacksonville, Florida, on June 16, 2011.

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