Water Pollution*

 

 

  • Pollution
    • PTPC dumps at least 80-130,000 pounds of toxins annually┬áinto Port Townsend Bay along with heated water leftover after “cleaning” in the 35-acre ASB/aerated stabilization basin, otherwise known as the “pond”.
    • Pristine water comes from the Olympic Mountains via the Olympic Gravity Water System, is fed through the mill multiple times where it is heated and polluted, thence through the ASB for enzyme treatment and the heated water finally released along with the above amount of pollution release into Admiralty Inlet of Port Townsend Bay.
  • ASB:
    • should be covered under both PTPC’s Air Permit/”AOP” and Water Permit/”NPDES”, because it spews toxins into both.
      • Until PTAW’s involvement, it was covered under neither permit. The current permits require “characterization”. It is due to be included in the next permit versions so they should be watched.
    • Air: the ASB is one of at least three major sources of mill stench. As of June 2018, the Air Permit is currently overdue for renewal.
    • Water: NPDES permit is also overdue for renewal as of June 2018.
    • Sludge:
      • Dredging of the ASB has been done on a “deferred maintenance” basis. When conducted, it creates a horrible community-wide stench that we need to pressure Ecology, County Health Department, City and County to address.
      • The sludge is toxic. County Health oversees the quantity. It is dumped either onto PTPC’s on-site dump (overseen by Jefferson County Environmental Health), or taken to a landfill in Oregon (overseen by the landfill itself). Quantity and disposal location can be found by digging into Ecology databases.
  • Permitting:
    • Water Permit – NPDES – covers what’s dumped into the bay
    • Air emissions – AOP – is currently overdue. The ASB stench is due to be included in the next air pollution permit (thanks to action by PT AirWatchers!)
    • Groundwater seepage from the ASB is not dealt with anywhere yet, allegedly doesn’t happen
    • Natural lagoon, the triangular pond between the ASB and the bay, from which the ASB was portioned off in the 1970’s, has no protections or remediation in place.