EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — Federal, state and regional air-quality authorities have reached a $5 million settlement with a pulp mill that they said had repeatedly violated emissions standards.
The settlement with Evergreen Pulp Inc. will reduce particulate matter and other air pollutants by about 340 tons each year, the Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District said.
Of the $5 million, $4.1 million will go toward emission control equipment and $900,000 will go to fines split between the three agencies, officials said.
Pulp mills convert wood chips into a fiberboard which can be shipped to a paper mill for further processing. Evergreen Pulp's mill is in Samoa, Calif., an unincorporated area near Eureka on the peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Humboldt Bay.
The facility allegedly violated the federal emission standard for hazardous air pollutants by approximately 230 percent, and violated monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements, the EPA said in its announcement.
The company also allegedly violated state air pollution control laws for nuisance, opacity and air pollution control equipment maintenance requirements.
''Emissions from pulp mills can have a significant impact on air quality in the immediate area around these facilities,'' said Deborah Jordan, director of the EPA's Air Division for the Pacific Southwest region.
The settlement was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is subject to a 30-day public comment period.