More than 75 gather to hear about study of Port Townsend Paper mill’s effects

PORT TOWNSEND — A survey of Port Townsend Paper mill’s “industrial footprint” may fall short of representing a true community cross-section of residents, but it is the best way to gauge the economic, environmental and social effects of the mill, state Department of Ecology officials said Thursday night.

“Those showing up will have a clear influence in the survey,” Jim Pittman, a facilitator with Earth Economics, told more than 75 attending Thursday night’s first of two community meetings.

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Erickson Building.

At that meeting, Ecology Environmental Engineer Marc E. Crooks said, “We will roll up our sleeves and roll in the mud” to determine the most important indicators for the study.

A “sticker” vote will be  conducted Tuesday to determine what people feel are the most important issues surrounding the mill, Jefferson County’s largest employer, which has 315 workers.

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