Port Townsend Paper withdraws from Ecology study

The Port Townsend Paper Corp. has withdrawn from a voluntary state program that monitored facility performance at its mill location in Glen Cove.

Department of Ecology spokeswoman Kim Schmanke said the mill made the request earlier this month and would stop sending data into the state’s Industrial Footprint Project.

“I don’t think it had anything to do with the data,” Schmanke said.

“They said they have other projects they are working on, and they needed to focus on other priorities at this time.”

Mill officials have a policy of not responding to requests from the media and did not comment on their decision.

The Port Townsend mill was one of five to be included in the project and is the only one to have withdrawn at this time, Schmanke said.

Nippon, others, still involved

Other mills being monitored include Nippon Paper Industries USA in Port Angeles, Grays Harbor Paper in Hoquiam, Simpson Tacoma Kraft in Tacoma and Boise in Wallula.

Schmanke said no results had been released yet as the data-gathering process is still under way.

A public meeting planned for last Thursday was canceled in the wake of the mill’s decision.

Schmanke said the data already submitted by the mill still will be available to the public once the results are published. However, it will be incomplete.

According to the state, the purpose of the project is to develop a holistic measure of facility performance and to evaluate whether or not this measurement is useful for identifying priorities beyond the requirements of compliance, developing priorities for Ecology staff and improving environmental performance at facilities.

For more information about the project, visit the state’s Web site at http://tinyurl.com/ybgkkvf.

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Reporter Erik Hidle can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at erik.hidle@peninsuladailynews.com.

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