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.

Nathan Rushton, Eureka Reporter

Feb. 20, 2008


EUREKA - To avoid further litigation, Simpson Timber Co. has struck a deal with two environmental groups to remove tons fo sediment laden with the toxic compound dioxin from a former mill site at the foot of Del Norte Street in Eureka.

The settlement agreement stems from a lawsuit filed in 2006 under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against Simpson Timber by Eureka-based Humboldt Baykeeper and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics.

Tests of the soil where plywood was apparently sprayed in the 1960s with the now-banned wood preservative pentachlorophenol found dioxin at levels at tens of thousands of times higher than thresholds established by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the environmental groups.

Humboldt Baykeeper director Pete Nichols said in a news release that the settlement is a pivotal step in addressing and fixing the dioxin problem in and around Humboldt Bay.

“The work required under this agreement will help protect those who fish from this public pier and throughout the bay, in addition to the fish and other inhabitants of the Bay,” Nichols said.

According to the consent decree document, Simpson Timber denies all of the allegations raised by the environmental groups in the original lawsuit of violations and that the conditions posed an “imminent or substantial endangerment” to people or the environment.

Eureka Times Standard, Feb. 21, 2008

The Simpson Timber Co. will be removing tons of sediment contaminated with dioxin from the foot of Del Norte Street a part of a settlement of a 2006 lawsuit filed by Humboldt Baykeeper and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics.

The lawsuit came after tests were conducted near the site of a former Simpson plywood mill, where the company commonly sprayed plywood with the now-banned wood preservative pentachlorophenol in the 1960s, revealed the presence of dioxin, according to joint news release from Humboldt Baykeeper and CATS. Dioxin is an accidental byproduct of pentachlorophenol, according to Patty Clary of CATS.

The tests revealed the presence of dioxin at levels "tens of thousands of times higher than Environmental Protection Agency standards," according to the news release.

4/29/10 Boston Globe

States along the Gulf of Mexico have bet their fishing and tourism industries on the safety of oil drilling offshore, and that bet, which New England has refused to make, has turned into a losing one. The nation as a whole should take the growing oil spill in the Gulf as a warning — that there are consequences to relying so heavily on fossil fuels, and that domestic oil production is no panacea for US energy needs.

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Back in June, with oil still spewing from BP’s blown-out well, President Obama charged Navy Secretary Ray Mabus with crafting a Gulf Coast restoration plan that would address  the short-term impacts of the spill as well as the long-term environmental challenges facing the region. This week, Mr. Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, pledged that the first iteration of that plan would be unveiled soon.

“My task is to develop a road map for recovery once the oil spill is contained and cleaned up once and for all,” he wrote in an editorial for The Times-Picayune of New Orleans on Tuesday. “On behalf of gulf residents, I will deliver that framework for our path forward to the president within the coming few weeks.”

The report is already the focus of intense interest, with Gulf Coast politicians and local and national nonprofit groups calling for billions of dollars in funds not just to repair the damage caused by the oil spill, but also to restore coastal wetlands degraded by decades of oil and gas development and the wide-scale engineering of the Mississippi River for flood control and navigation.


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