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Louisiana Paper Mill Blamed for Huge Fish Kill, Will Be Hit With Penalties, Fines

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August 25, 2011

Louisiana Paper Mill Blamed for Huge Fish Kill, Will Be Hit With Penalties, Fines

By Chad Love

A Louisiana paper mill is facing penalties and fines because polluted water from the plant killed thousands of fish in a local river.

From this story on nola.com:

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality late Monday put a Bogalusa paper plant on notice that it is liable for a massive fish kill in the Pearl River, setting in motion the legal process for potentially issuing penalties and fines, the agency said. DEQ issued a compliance order and a notice of potential penalty to Temple-Inland for its role in the incident that clogged the Pearl River through Washington and St. Tammany Parishes with thousands of dead fish last week.


DEQ said the plant, also known as the Bogalusa Paperboard Mill, discharged “black liquor,’’ a byproduct of the paper-making process, into the river during a plant malfunction beginning Aug. 9. The black liquor triggered the fish kill. The compliance order slaps the plant for not notifying authorities in a timely manner of the malfunction and discharge, for exceeding its discharge permits and for an unauthorized discharge. The company must also submit a plan that shows “long-term operation, maintenance and process changes to ensure repeat or similar incidents do not occur at this facility,” DEQ said. DEQ has said it didn’t find out about the fish kill until Aug. 13, when a reporter called the agency to inquire about it. DEQ said its scientists were in the field eight hours before Temple-Inland notified the agency.

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from hal herring wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Oh man, sometimes the world of man seems hell-bent on torturing us. I was just fishing with a good friend on the Pearl this summer. It is an incredible fishery, and pours out into the Gulf behind the barrier islands of Mississippi. There's everything in there, from reds and trout to crappie and big bass, gators, you name it. The Pearl forms the Honey Island Swamp, home of the alleged Honey Island Swamp monster, and once thought to hold the last pop. of ivorybill woodpeckers. It's one of the last great swamp wildernesses anywhere, wild, full of fish and wildlife, kind of scary- and then there's Lake Borgne downstream with the monster specks.

This is a hard thing to bear witness to. It really is.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

maybe if the DEQ had been paying more attention, this could have been prevented.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Maybe if the Repubs get their way and cut the EPA and other environmental programs AND de-regulate big business even more we can see this sort of thing a lot more often.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hal herring wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I still can't believe this isn't front page news across the nation- this ain't some local creek or tributary (and it would be bad enough if it was) the is the PEARL RIVER, man- look at the maps on google earth. The Pearl River WMA 35000 acres of hunting and fishing is right downstream of this fish kill.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ed Fishhead wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Great Googlie Mooglie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Well the deaths were attributed to oxygen depletion, so hopefully this stuff will disperse and won't have a long term impact on the area. It sounds like this "black liquor" is basically paint stripper though, so it's hard to imagine it won't cause more problems on its way out to the gulf.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ontario wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Black liquor is a byproduct of chemically cooking wood chips to make pulp for paper or other various uses. In an upset at a kraft mill there could have been other bad chemicals dumped into the river. Black liquor is caustic and would be very hot depending on the stage of the process. when it cools it turns almost to tar and is very hard to wash off. awful thing to have happen to any water way, hopefully the company pays dearly for this incident.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

This isn't getting coverage just like the ongoing oil leak in the Gulf that the media told us was over isn't getting coverage.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Here is another similar account from the Louisiana sportsman:

http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=3239

A company VP claims that it is biodegradable indicating that there shouldn't be any long term effects. It seems it's just another unfortunate instance of us using the world we live in as our toilet and just flushed too much s#@$ at once.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Sorry I keep blowing up this post, but here is a more recent report from Louisiana sportsman for those interested.
http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=3252

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jbird wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Maybe if the Repubs get their way and cut the EPA and other environmental programs AND de-regulate big business even more we can see this sort of thing a lot more often.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hal herring wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Oh man, sometimes the world of man seems hell-bent on torturing us. I was just fishing with a good friend on the Pearl this summer. It is an incredible fishery, and pours out into the Gulf behind the barrier islands of Mississippi. There's everything in there, from reds and trout to crappie and big bass, gators, you name it. The Pearl forms the Honey Island Swamp, home of the alleged Honey Island Swamp monster, and once thought to hold the last pop. of ivorybill woodpeckers. It's one of the last great swamp wildernesses anywhere, wild, full of fish and wildlife, kind of scary- and then there's Lake Borgne downstream with the monster specks.

This is a hard thing to bear witness to. It really is.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

maybe if the DEQ had been paying more attention, this could have been prevented.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hal herring wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I still can't believe this isn't front page news across the nation- this ain't some local creek or tributary (and it would be bad enough if it was) the is the PEARL RIVER, man- look at the maps on google earth. The Pearl River WMA 35000 acres of hunting and fishing is right downstream of this fish kill.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ed Fishhead wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Great Googlie Mooglie

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Well the deaths were attributed to oxygen depletion, so hopefully this stuff will disperse and won't have a long term impact on the area. It sounds like this "black liquor" is basically paint stripper though, so it's hard to imagine it won't cause more problems on its way out to the gulf.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ontario wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Black liquor is a byproduct of chemically cooking wood chips to make pulp for paper or other various uses. In an upset at a kraft mill there could have been other bad chemicals dumped into the river. Black liquor is caustic and would be very hot depending on the stage of the process. when it cools it turns almost to tar and is very hard to wash off. awful thing to have happen to any water way, hopefully the company pays dearly for this incident.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Here is another similar account from the Louisiana sportsman:

http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=3239

A company VP claims that it is biodegradable indicating that there shouldn't be any long term effects. It seems it's just another unfortunate instance of us using the world we live in as our toilet and just flushed too much s#@$ at once.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Sorry I keep blowing up this post, but here is a more recent report from Louisiana sportsman for those interested.
http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=3252

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

This isn't getting coverage just like the ongoing oil leak in the Gulf that the media told us was over isn't getting coverage.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment