PTPC Permits and Cleanup Plans

Permits limit and allow Port Townsend Paper to pollute, what happens to their toxic or hazardous waste, and in the possible event of an eventual closure, who will be left holding the bag. There’s a public process associated with each permit, which you can initiate if you have concerns about what you see. What isn’t in the suite of permits can be as interesting as what is.

Air –   PTPC Air Operating Permit/AOP and Supporting Docs

WA Dept of Ecology Industrial Section

Effective 2010/05/01; Expired 2015/05/01

Old permit remains in effect until new permit is issued. Therefore any results from mill’s testing, changes in circumstances, science, or law are not addressed.


Water –   PTPC NPDES Water Discharge Permit and Supporting Docs

WA Dept of Ecology Industrial Section

Effective 2013/10/01; Modified 2015/03/23 ; Expires 2019/10/01

Includes onsite sanitary waste treatment and 35-acre ASB/”treatment pond”

              Air emissions (the stink) from the pond are one of the top sources of fumes identified in PTPC’s own 1993 community study, but hadn’t been addressed in any permit. PTAW successfully got Ecology to require “characterization” of the fumes in the mill’s most recent permits, with limits to be included in the “next” NPDES and AOP. However, both are far overdue for renewal so PTPC hasn’t had to ratchet down fumes from the ASB.

Water Usage

About Port Townsend’s water system, with maps, FAQs & mythbusting

PTPC’s Water Lease Agreement with City of Port Townsend (City Council, Water Dept.)

Expires 2020/03/15

            • 1956 agreement was due to expire on 2000 March 15

             • 1983 December 21 it was extended to 2020 March 15

• Gives PTPC virtually free use of 10x water of paying customers’ combined total

Used to require maintenance and payment of a modest water fee. Since sometime between 1960’s and 1983, the water fee went away and was never reinstated.

Until Port Townsend’s new water system, in 2017, Port Townsend water customers were paying to chlorinate the water that Port Townsend Paper used.


Onsite Landfill operation, test wells, monitoring – Limited Purpose Landfill Permit (Jefferson County WA Eironmental Health)

Onsite Landfill cleanup plan with financial assurances to fund cleanup (Jefferson County WA Environmental Health)

TBD – location and status of operating permit, cleanup plan & financial assurances


Property closure & cleanup plan, financial assurances – TBD

taxpayers will pay for eventual closure and cleanup costs unless these instruments are in place

Sludge disposal – TBD

Leaking oil storage tanks on PTPC property at 1st Street in Hadlock – TBD.

Wood chip accumulation in PT Bay from delivery barges – TBD

Off-site hazardous waste transport and disposal – TBD


On-site working conditions, safety hazards           WISHA