The Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation today released its “report card” for the state’s reconsideration of the NPDES wastewater permit of the Georgia-Pacific Pulp Mill in Toledo. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reissued the permit with two new special conditions which will no longer allow inappropriate waste streams like Marion County leachate to be processed at the facility and require an ocean monitoring study.
The response to the reconsideration comes over 2 years after Surfrider members and other groups filed a petition to reconsider the permit (FACT SHEET). Additionally Surfrider members have been fighting the importing and processing of landfill leachate through the the mill’s facility for over 10 years. Nearly 20 million gallons of leachate have been processed through the facility since that time so to finally be heard and get this written into the permit is a long-awaited victory for clean water! Surfrider also commends DEQ for requiring an environmental survey of the ocean discharge, but bemoans the lack of specifics for the design of the study, and third party objectivity. Meanwhile, Surfrider flunks the agency for flaws in its scientific assessment and modeling, and determining compliance with discharge criteria for turbidity and bacteria. The Georgia Pacific Toledo Mill releases an average of 11 million gallons a day of effluent just 3,800 feet offshore of Nye Beach in the vicinity of important recreational and commercial uses such as swimming, surfing, fishing and beachgoers in general. Click below to read the Newport Chapter’s press release: