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Fenholloway Dioxin Pipeline PLan Challenged

  This article would have been more appropriately named:  Challenge filed
  against backward plan to build 15-mile fish-mutating pipeline to the Gulf
  of Mexico.....
  Challenge filed on plan to clean
                Fenholloway River
   Metro &
   State        By T. CHRISTIAN MILLER
   Business     ┬ęSt. Petersburg Times, published August 28,
   Sports       --------------------------------------------
   Editorials & TALLAHASSEE -- Opponents of a plan to clean
   Letters      up North Florida's Fenholloway River filed
                one protest against the project Wednesday
   Local        and promised another one today.
                Steve Medina, attorney for the opponents,
   Floridian    said the plan to pump treated wastewater
   Sections     from the Buckeye Cellulose mill through a
   ------------ 15-mile pipeline would result in further
   Classifieds  damage to the river, one of Florida's most
                polluted waterways.
                Some of his clients are commercial
   Area Guide   fishermen who fear the pipeline will do
                serious damage to fishing, he said.
   Connections  "The bottom line is that this is
                environmental degradation," Medina said.
   ------------ "The public deserves better."
                The protests, filed with Department of
                Environmental Protection, could delay the
                project for months until they a heard by an
                administrative law judge.
                Buckeye officials, who said they hadn't
                seen the petitions yet, said the
                $40-million project is designed to restore
                the river to a natural state and improve
                marine life in the area. State
                environmental regulators have said they
                agree with the company's cleanup plan.
                "We want to maintain and even improve
                beyond the water quality of today," said
                Dan Simmons, a spokesman for Buckeye, in
                The petitions against the plan could take
                months to resolve. Until then, the cleanup
                plan is on hold.
                The protests are just the latest move in a
                long-running battle between
                environmentalists, the state Department of
                Environmental Protection and Buckeye, which
                produces cellulose used in making
                disposable diapers, rayon and other
                The Buckeye plant sits on the Fenholloway,
                which was declared an industrial river by
                the state in 1947. Waste from the plant has
                killed seagrass, and some scientists blame
                the discharge for mutated fish found in the
                To clean up the river, state environmental
                regulators and the company want to pump the
                plant's treated wastewater to the mouth of
                the river. The idea is that the salty
                wastewater will do less damage near the
                gulf than upstream in the freshwater river.
                The plan also calls for adding oxygen to
                the wastewater to improve conditions for
                marine life and changing manufacturing
                techniques to reduce by half the waste's
                dark color and elemental chlorine content.
                Simmons said the company also wants to
                restore some 7,000 acres of wetlands near
                the mouth of the river.
                But Medina said the plans have not been
                studied enough. One of his clients' biggest
                concerns, he said, is that the wastewater
                discharge near the gulf will affect
                commercial fishing throughout the area.
                The fishermen, already hurting from the
                constitutional ban on net fishing, fear
                that discharging wastewater near the gulf
                will harm fish.
                "It will affect their livelihood," Medina
                But Ronnie Edwards, a dump truck driver in
                Perry who filed the administrative petition
                Wednesday, said he worries that the water
                still won't be safe.
                Edwards emphasized that he doesn't want to
                see a shut down of the mill, whose cleanup
                plan has been widely praised by Perry
                "We want the mill to clean up and expand to
                hire more people," Edwards said. "This
                little county down here is down in the
                dumps when it comes to jobs."
                ┬ęCopyright 1997 St. Petersburg Times. All
                rights reserved.
  For more info:
  Joy Towles Cummings, President
  HOPE (Help Our Polluted Environment) In Taylor County, Florida
  P. O. Box 327
  Salem, Florida   32356
  850 584-4544 phone
  850 838-1464  fax
  email:  hope@igc.apc.org
  Joseph Cutter, President
  Friends of the Fenholloway River
  Route 1 Box 1130
  Perry, Florida   32347
  phone 904 584-6513
  fax  904 584-3644
  no email yet