Fish Kill Hooks Paper Mill for $3.3M in Fines
AUSTIN, TX—The 2011 release of black liquor into the Pearl River in Louisiana has cost Temple-Inland $3.3 million in fines, The Advocate reported. The paper firm, a business of International Paper, was also sentenced to two years probation by U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle.
The black liquor, a byproduct of pulp production, flowed from the Bogalusa paper mill into the Pearl River in August 2011 after an evaporator at the mill became clogged, the newspaper said. The spill depleted oxygen in the water, causing a half-million fish to die, including some in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge. Among the dead fish were endangered Gulf sturgeon, The Advocate reported.
Judge Lemelle has ordered Temple-Inland to pay $1.2 million in restitution, with $900,000 of the amount earmarked for the Trust for Public Land and $100,000 going to the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana. The funds are designated for the acquisition, protection and management of land and water in the Pearl River basin, the paper said.
About $200,000 in restitution money will be used to pay for a study to evaluate and determine the potential for Gulf sturgeon recovery in the Pearl and Bogue Chitto rivers.