Temple-Inland's Bogalusa, Louisiana, paper mill sued by Orleans Audubon Society for August black liquor spill; group seeks damages to cover cleanup and remediation, study on spill's effect to wildlife sanctuary

LOS ANGELES , December 20, 2011 () – Temple-Inland Inc. is being sued by the Orleans Audubon Society for an August black liquor spill from its Bogalusa, Louisiana, pulp and paper mill that killed thousands of fish in the Pearl River, reported The Louisiana Record on Dec. 19.

In its lawsuit filed on Nov. 28 in Washington Parish District Court in Louisiana, the conservation group claims that the Aug. 9 spill south of the mill damaged 86 acres of its wildlife sanctuary.

The group seeks damages to cover the cost of cleaning up and remediating the land and waters of the Fischer Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as Temple-Inland-funded surveys and monitoring of the effect of discharges and spills on the sanctuary, The Louisiana Record reported.

The Orleans Audubon Society said that the fish killed when the toxic chemicals were emitted into the Pearl River, its tributaries, Lake Pontchartrain and other waterways were essential to its wildlife sanctuary.

The lawsuit levies various charges on the mill, including negligence, carelessness and fault related to its effort to control, dispose or store its hazardous materials and for failing to mitigate damage or prepare for its potential discharges or spills.

Austin, Texas-based Temple-Inland has removed the case to New Orleans federal court on Dec. 12, reported The Louisiana Record.

Earlier this month, a Mississippi official said that Temple-Inland faces a criminal investigation as Mississippi and Louisiana environmental regulators have discussed the August spill with federal investigators, according to a Dec. 15 Associated Press report that was carried on IndustryIntel.com on the same day.

Memphis, Tennessee-based International Paper Co. is buying Temple-Inland for US$3.7 billion, AP reported.

Lawsuits involving the spill have also been filed against Temple-Inland by three Louisiana residents, in addition to three class-action lawsuits, according to a Sept. 6 report in The Louisiana Record that was carried on IndustryIntel.com the same day.

The primary source of this article is The Louisiana Record, New Orleans, Louisiana, on Dec. 19, 2011.

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