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on Paper Mills
When I heard recently that Blue Heron Paper Co. was declaring bankruptcy, I hoped and prayed that this could mean the natural death of Clackamas County's biggest polluter. This huge mill is an industrial dinosaur, blighting a once stunning (but now highly engineered) natural wonder, the Willamette Falls. Surely this short stretch of the river - where the Willamette is joined by the Molalla, the Tualatin and Clackamas Rivers, was sacred ground for the tribes that lived here when the Europeans first colonized the area.
I've been working with others in Oregon City's historic McLoughlin neighborhood, to try and mitigate Blue Heron's pollution. We've learned that their DEQ permit allows them to emit up to 644 tons of nitrogen oxides annually. Nitrogen oxides contribute to acid rain and react with other pollutants to form ozone. The Kyoto Protocol calls for substantial reductions in NOx. Blue Heron also releases up to 742 tons of sulfur dioxide annually. Sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory illness and aggravate cardiovascular diseases. I'm particulalry sensitive to the 313 tons of VOC's Blue Heron releases yearly. That's more than a half ton of VOC's daily. Volatile Organic Compounds are linked to cancer and a number of adverse neurological, reproductive and developmental effects.
We need to fully awaken to the reality at hand. We can't continue to rape the planet. If we don't deal with large scale industrial polluters now, when will we? Hopefully we'll harmonize our human culture with natures ways, or otherwise suffer the consequences.
Anyone out there interested in tackling the Blue heron issue with us?
posted 3 years, 4 months ago
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