Transfer of nearly 3 million gallons of caustic liquors from site of former pulp mill in Samoa, California, to KapStone pulp and paper mill in Longview, Washington, likely to last into September, rather than end of June, due to shipping delays

LOS ANGELES , July 1, 2014 () – Cleanup continues at the site of the former pulp mill in Samoa, California, but the transfer of nearly 3 million gallons of caustic liquors to the KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. mill in Longview, Washington, has been delayed by a few months due to unexpected shipping delays, reported The Times-Standard on June 30.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on-scene coordinator Steve Calanog said the liquors would be shipped for a few more months, probably into September, rather than to the end of June as was originally planned. He said that as of June 24, 1.5 million gallons had been extracted.

The delay was because of a three-week maintenance shut at KapStone as well as a slower-than-expected shipping rate than the planned 15 trucks per day, Calanog said. About 800 truckloads, using chemical trucks, are needed for the job.

KapStone will re-use the liquors.

The EPA had initiated an emergency response for removal of the liquors after finding that the containers and tanks they were in were corroding and close to overflowing into the nearby Humboldt Bay, the Times-Standard reported.

It said Evergreen Pulp Inc., which was one of the many previous owners of the mill, has been deemed responsible for the site’s decrepit state, but that the EPA has yet to be in a position to file a lawsuit against it in order to get funds for the cleanup, which could run around US$7 million.

Much of the cost of the cleanup may fall to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District; the harbor commission and the EPA are working on a settlement agreement, it reported.

The harbor district has also been working to convert the mill’s abandoned machine shops and warehouses into a functioning area for businesses.

Among the potential businesses at the 72-acre site is a pellet manufacturing company that has entered a bid to build a factory on part of the property.

According to Industry Intelligence Inc. archives, the former mill was in operation from 1963 until 2008. The last owner of the 200,000 tonnes/year bleached and unbleached softwood market pulp mill was Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Co., when the mill was known as Evergreen Pulp Inc. After the closure it was acquired by a new owner and called Freshwater Tissue Co., but the company failed to find investors and operations did not resume. After preparations for a potential resumption of mill activities failed in August 2013, the site was sold to the harbor district.

The primary source of this article is The Times-Standard, Eureka, California, on June 30, 2014. Click here to view full version of primary source's original article.

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