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Paper Mill Pollution

Bangor, ME: (Jan-04-08) The Maine Board of Environmental Protection and other state agencies filed charges against Katahdin Paper of Millinocket, alleging that the facility had wastewater discharges that state officials say triggered a massive algae bloom in the Penobscot River. Sources close to the case stated that Katahdin Paper agreed to pay a fine of more than $100,000 to resolve allegations. The money is said to go to the Penobscot Nation and several pollution prevention and detection projects. Katahdin Paper has also agreed to abide by lower, temporary pollution discharge levels, although company officials said the mill no longer discharges the phosphorus at the root of the algae bloom

Officials stated that the $106,000 fine was based upon the severity of the incident, the bloom's longevity and the size of the affected area. At the height of the bloom, the Penobscot Nation advised tribal members to avoid swimming in the river or ingesting its water. Experts in the field claimed that though typically harmless, some blooms of blue-green algae can irritate the eyes and skin or cause gastrointestinal problems. [INDIAN COUNTRY: PAPER MILL POLLUTION]

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Published on Jan-7-08


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