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Archive for February, 2010

EPA rejects Canton paper mill permit!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

It is almost impossible to live in East Tennessee and not be aware of the damaging effects the Canton paper mill in North Carolina has had on the Pigeon River.  Well, on Monday those fighting to protect the Pigeon River got a small victory.   The EPA’s Atlanta office formally objected to the wastewater permit for the Blue Ridge Paper Products’ Canton mill.

The letter calls for stronger regulation of color and temperature in discharges to the Pigeon River, as well as other water quality issues. If North Carolina does not resubmit an adequately revised permit within 90 days, EPA will take over the permit.

Like I said, this is certainly a victory, but some of EPA’s comments concern those of us working for a clean river.  The requirements from EPA do not go far enough to protect the water quality of the Pigeon River.  However, with the continued efforts of local groups and the hundreds of citizens who have worked to get the process this far, we will keep pushing for a permit protective of our water quality!