Buckeye Mill's Pipe Dream Plan for Florida River Focus of Lawsuit
February 28, 2007
In a disappointing ruling, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that the court the lacked jurisdiction to require that the Environmental Protection Agency to take over permitting for Buckeye’s toxic Taylor County pulp mill.
March 14, 2006
Operated in Perry, Florida, the Buckeye paper mill is one of the worst polluters in the state. The mill takes almost the entire flow of the Fenholloway River, uses it to process paper, and then discharges a toxic sludge back into the river. As a result, the river is so polluted that it is the color of black coffee and gives off a pungent smell. Sadly, Buckeye's pollution of the river was legal for decades because it was classified as an "industrial river," but that changed in 1997 when the EPA reclassified the river and set new pollution standards. In response, Buckeye convinced the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that rather than clean up its polluting operations it should build a 15-mile pipeline to carry the polluted sludge directly to the Gulf of Mexico where it would be dumped. After a long campaign involving lawsuits and public hearings, Sierra Club is back in court to stop this pipe dream plan and force Buckeye to stop bypassing the law.
On March 14, we scored a victory when a federal judge ruled that the EPA must take over the permitting process (and problems) from the DEP, who had originally okayed the absurd pipeline plan. According to our attorney, David Bookbinder, "While EPA may wink and nod while Florida DEP gives the go-ahead to a toxic waste pipeline, not even the Bush administration EPA would try to get away with something as flagrantly illegal as this sucker."
Details and Documents:
State Stops a Polluter
August 13, 2007, Editorial, Palm Beach Post
Pulp mill's waste plan put on hold
March 16, 2006, by Nathan Crabbe, Gainesville Sun
Groups Claim Win In Ruling On Pipeline
March 16, 2006, by Mike Salinero, Tampa Tribune
Judge's Buckeye ruling debated; Environmentalists say EPA, not state, must issue permit
March 16, 2006, by Bruce Ritchie, Tallahassee Democrat
See other "Safeguarding Communities" cases.