Plans being considered for site of former pulp mill in Samoa, California, ranging from log storage to water filtration and drawing on area's natural resources and beauty; shellfish company has signed a lease

LOS ANGELES , February 3, 2014 () – The site of the former pulp mill in Samoa, California, is being considered for a number of possible uses, and the public is being invited to discuss the vision at an open house Feb. 10, The Times-Standard reported Jan. 31.

Representatives from the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District and from Humboldt State University (HSU) are holding the open house.

The publication reported on Aug. 13 that the harbor district was to acquire the site at no cost. It includes the 72-acre property, including docks, and the district is now seeking acquisition of an additional 80 acres. In addition, Taylor Shellfish has signed a lease, marking the building’s first tenant, said the district’s CEO Jack Crider.

Rhea Williamson, HSU’s dean of research, economic and community development, said the vision being considered at what some now view as an eyesore would draw on the area’s natural resources and beauty.

Some proposed options in the harbor district’s conceptual plan include storage for logs and a filter for water treatment, but there is room for many other possible uses, said Williamson, adding that such matters as existing electricity and water assets will be discussed at the open house.
Jacqueline Debets, county director of economic development, said the toxic risks at the site have been secured, The Times-Standard reported Jan. 31.

On Nov. 10 The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had initiated an emergency effort to remove more than 4 million gallons of toxic liquids from the abandoned mill site in order to avert liquors leaching from its leaky, corroded tanks into Humboldt Bay.

The 200,000 tonnes/year bleached and unbleached softwood market pulp mill was owned by Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Co. and known as Freshwater Pulp Inc. when it was shuttered in 2008, according to Industry Intelligence archives. Later it was acquired by a new owner and called Freshwater Tissue Co., but the company failed to find investors and operations did not resume.

The conceptual plan can be seen at

The primary source of this article is The Times-Standard, Eureka, California, on Jan. 31, 2014.

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