Water Cyanide Violations
River Watch vs. Georgia Pacific
Background: At the time GP applied for their current NPDES permit, GP reported discharging a daily average of 150,000 gallons of hydraulic debarked water, 72,000 gallons of boiler blow down, 72,000 gallons of cooling tower blow down, and 100,000 gallons of boiler wet scrubber water. In addition, GP reported discharging an additional 90,000 gallons of stormwater from the mill property. This facility is a major discharger as defined by the U.S. EPA. GP discharges to their collection, treatment and disposal system including the Pacific Ocean, a water of the United States, violated their NPDES permit for cyanide, settleable solids, failure to monitor receiving waters, and failure to properly monitor for selenium, copper and mercury.
RW Action and Results: This case was settled without the filing of a lawsuit. In the settlement GP agreed to: conduct a study to determine the feasibility of recycling the wastewater from the scrubber associated with its boiler and the feasibility of a non-discharge system except for stormwater; provide River Watch, at GP’s expense, any and all documents Georgia-Pacific is required to file, prepare or maintain in accordance with its NPDES permit, stormwater permit or any other orders or notices it receives from the RWQCB; and joint sampling of wastewater and stormwater discharge.