We’ve got a paper mill in our community. It has won numerous awards for innovation in environmental protection
asked 20 September 2016 asked by Whommet (360 points)
A couple of years ago, I sat in on a community awareness meeting where they were discussing the dredging of an aerated stabilization basin that had been created by the local paper mill. The mill itself uses a local bay for run off, so the basin was established to address those pollution concerns. Everything was going well and people were happy until the mill dredged the basin and wasn’t transparent about where they deposited the sludge that was removed. To make matters worse, the mill started injecting hydrogen sulfide into their run off, which created a horrid smell that covered the town when the wind blew in the right direction. Then there’s the ash and lime issue with the mill’s landfill. So the outcome of that meeting was to bring in the state, hold public hearings regarding the transparency of the mill’s activities, and file lawsuits regarding air and water quality. Some of those are still pending, a couple have been dismissed, but the public outcry led the mill to be more transparent about their practices and that has made the community relatively happy once again. I think that’s what I would encourage. If there are pollution concerns, but the mill has been recognized for taking positive steps, then take the community through those steps. People tend to fear what they do not know, so give them knowledge.