Donna Tam, Eureka Times-Standard, Nov. 21, 2009

 

With the high cost of dioxin testing and the controversy that seems to accompany dioxin cleanup projects, North Coast agencies are looking for a way to pool resources and establish a dioxin sampling protocol.

The workgroup, an idea hatched in 2006 after Humboldt Bay was listed as impaired by dioxins, is spearheaded by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and consists of several agencies concerned with the bay's health, including Humboldt Baykeeper and the city of Eureka.

11/13/09  With the recent controversy over dioxins at various sites near the bay, Humboldt Baykeeper is highlighting the near completion of what it deems a complete and responsible cleanup: The former Simpson plywood mill on Del Norte Street.

Dave McEntee, vice president of operational services and external affairs for Simpson Timber Co., said the main part of the cleanup plan should be complete within two to four weeks.

”We may have to come back in spring for additional planted fore restoration,” McEntee said. “The heavy lifting -- the reconstruction -- will be done.”

The cleanup project at the former flea market site, located behind Costco at the southern end of Eureka, began in February 2008 as a part of a 2006 settlement with Baykeeper and the Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. It calls for the removal of contaminated sediment as well as restoring the area to a functioning wetland and installing a network of groundwater-monitoring wells to ensure that residual subsurface contamination doesn't leave the site.

Pete Nichols

Nov. 22, 2007

The headline read “Oil Spill Fouls Shores in San Francisco Area.”

58,000 gallons of bunker fuel, the most toxic and least-distilled of petroleum products, gushed from a container ship in San Francisco Bay late last week, impacting beaches up to 20 miles north of the entrance to the bay.

The full extent of the damage done to the San Francisco Bay, the coast and the wildlife that live there has yet to be fully assessed, and perhaps never will. But if we here on the North Coast needed yet another reason not to pursue a container port for Humboldt Bay, this is one to seriously consider.

Humboldt Bay has one of the most treacherous port entrances in the Pacific Northwest. The container ship responsible for the San Francisco spill was same size vessel that would be negotiating the jaws of Humboldt Bay’s mouth to off-load its container cargo.

It would be just a matter of time before one of those massive container ships ended up perched upon the South Jetty, coating the bay and coast in an oily goo. It is not a matter of if, but when, it would happen.

Nov. 4, 2007 Press Release

Humboldt Baykeeper

EPA CRITICIZES CALIFORNIA’S LAX POLLUTION PERMITS

(San Francisco) On October 31 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report criticizing California’s water pollution permits. EPA agreed to perform an audit of randomly selected permits as a condition of a settlement reached in a lawsuit brought by San Francisco Baykeeper, Communities for a Better Environment and Ecological Rights Foundation in 2006.

San Francisco Baykeeper, Humboldt Baykeeper, Communities for a Better Environment and Ecological Rights Foundation sued EPA in 2006 to require the agency to stop California’s Water Boards from including loopholes in pollution permits that effectively exempt large industrial polluters and cities’ sewage plants from having to meet deadlines for pollution limits.

These extensions allowed major dischargers, such as the Tesoro oil refinery, to discharge elevated levels of toxic pollutants such as mercury, dioxin, chlorinated organic pesticides, and PCBs, which are dangerous to both human beings and aquatic species. The Water Boards are tasked with enforcing clean water laws to protect sensitive waterways such as San Francisco, San Diego and Humboldt Bays, the Sacramento, American and San Joaquin Rivers and Santa Monica Bay, which are already listed by California and EPA as severely degraded with toxic pollutants.

Feb. 18, 2008 Press Release

Humboldt Baykeeper  and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics

 

EUREKA - The Simpson Timber Company, in a settlement with two environmental groups, has agreed to remove tons of sediment laden with cancer-causing dioxin from a contaminated site, a former Simpson Plywood Mill, adjacent to Humboldt Bay at the foot of Del Norte Street in Eureka.

The timber company was sued in 2006 by the two Eureka-based environmental groups, Humboldt Baykeeper and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs).  Tests were conducted, and dioxin was found at levels tens of thousands of times higher than Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, some of the highest levels found in the nation. The test sites were near where Simpson commonly sprayed plywood with the now-widely-banned wood preservative pentachlorophenol in the 1960’s.