Sunday, July 08, 2018

I agree with TS that EPA needs to follow through!

The Times-Standard
“Who pays for the pulp mill cleanup?” we asked in a Friday front page headline on Samoa’s environmental woes, but you could already guess the answer: You.
Not Evergreen Pulp Inc., the company found responsible by the Environmental Protection Agency for nearly causing an environmental catastrophe on Humboldt Bay and the Samoa Peninsula.
Rotting tanks full of caustic pulp mill liquors might have spilled into Humboldt Bay under a heavy rainfall thanks to Evergreen Pulp. But, shock, shock, horror, Evergreen Pulp has left taxpayers holding the tab for the cleanup: $16 million and rising.
That’s millions the EPA might not ever collect from the company it blames for the debacle.
“EPA investigated Evergreen Pulp, and believes it to be a liable party, but the investigation also revealed a long line of unsatisfied creditors ahead of EPA,” agency’s spokeswoman Margot Perez-Sullivan wrote in an email to the Times-Standard.
Reacting to Friday’s story on his own blog, Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Division 4 Commissioner Richard Marks — who worked at the mill for 30 years — paints a picture of an EPA unable or unwilling to chase down bad actors and convince them to make good on their debts.
The cumulative effect of this limp response by federal regulators? For starters, it undermines whatever trust we may put in government oversight. It encourages malfeasance from unscrupulous companies, who see that they’ll be allowed to essentially skip town without being held responsible for their actions. It figuratively poisons the business climate for the companies who remain, or who hope to do business here in the future. And, most importantly, it continues to threaten the literal poisoning of our environment.
Do better, EPA. Get what we’re owed.

No comments: