Port Townsend residents zero in on paper mill’s emissions, social impact

PORT TOWNSEND — Residents called for more studies on the health and environmental effects of Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill on the community, recommending such ideas as studying the number of Port Townsend cancer cases and their causes, and air emissions resulting in acid rain.

More than 75 showed up Tuesday night, the second of two state Department of Ecology forums at Jefferson County Fairgrounds, to express their thoughts and concerns about Port Townsend Paper mill’s environmental, social and economic effects on the community.

The comment session taken through break-out groups Tuesday night was the first step in studying the kraft paper mill’s impact on the surrounding community, or its “industrial footprint.”

Mill executives are voluntarily cooperating with Ecology on the project, as are the four other mills involved in it, including Nippon Paper Industries USA in Port Angeles.

Using green-dot stickers, participants voted on their issues and concerns.

Those who could not attend the meeting Tuesday night can still be heard until 5 p.m. March 19 through written comments on Ecology’s Web site, www.ecy.wa.gov/.

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