How much pollution does Port Townsend Paper spew? Has it gotten any better? The attached table, entitled 2008-2016 PTPC Pollution Indicators to Air-Water-Land presents Port Townsend Paper’s pollution track record for 9 years, from 2008-2016 in a file with easy totals, and a page for each year.
More about it below, but first — In 2016, Port Townsend Paper emitted:
Over 620,051 pounds of toxic pollutants into the air, water and land, Plus criteria pollutants, greenhouse gases, and compounds that occur in smaller amounts but can be extremely damaging.
TRI toxic pollutants ( Toxic Release Inventory) – 620,051 pounds
Air – 482,154 pounds of Toxic pollutants
Water – 84,997 pounds into Port Townsend Bay
Landfill on-site – 38,533 pounds
Trucked away to an offsite landfill – 14,367 pounds
And 979,922,660 pounds of greenhouse gases (yes, equivalent to around a billion pounds of CO2)
Sludge from the ASB, or “ponds” – so far unaccounted for!
The file is in Excel format. Each page shows one year, from 2008 through 2016, the quantities of toxic air pollution, water pollution, toxins dumped onto PTPC’s land and substances that had to be trucked offsite because they are too toxic even to put onto PTPC’s already toxic landfill.
You can look at different years by clicking the tabs along the bottom of the open workbook.
In addition to primary pollutants (TRI, or Toxic Release Inventory) that are reported annually by PTPC, it tallies up criteria pollutants — which were designated to provide a very broad-brush indication of the health or degradation of the air — and PTPC’s Greenhouse Gas emissions for each year.
PTPC’s greenhouse gas emissions are pretty phenomenal, equivalent to somewhere in the ballpark of 1 billion pounds per year. That’s despite mill press releases in past years claiming 65% reductions in CO2 emissions. The 2016 conversion to CNG may have helped reduce their CO2 emissions some, but it’s just below 1 billion pounds rather than just over.
The fumes that we’re all choking on are another class of pollutants. Still, an improvement is an improvement by some measure and, well, we’ll wait to see if PTPC management helps their CO2 emissions further on a downward trend.
Below the totals, you can scroll down for names and amounts of individual pollutants that PTPC has unloaded into our environment in that year.
Other classes of pollutants are not included in this spreadsheet that occur in smaller doses but are also cause for concern, such as HAPs or “Hazardous Air Pollutants” — the Erin Brockovich ones. That’s for a later research project.
This spreadsheet is intended to give you a good basis for talking about Port Townsend Paper’s pollution, and some simple numbers for easy comparison with their progress and with other entities.
Drop me a line and let me know if you have questions or find the file useful.