Friday, June 12, 2015

Huffman Makes it Rain on Pulp Mill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 2:53 PM

click to enlarge Jared Huffman speaks with an EPA representative under more literal rain at the Samoa Pulp Mill last year. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Jared Huffman speaks with an EPA representative under more literal rain at the Samoa Pulp Mill last year.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman secured a $155,000 federal economic development grant for the Samoa Pulp Mill, according to an announcement released Wednesday.

The grant is expected to help the Harbor District (which is hard at work on other bayside development as well) plan future uses for the mill.

From the congressman:

WASHINGTON­—Congressman Jared Huffman today announced an Economic Development Administration grant that will help plan future uses of the old Samoa pulp mill. The $155,000 grant will provide technical assistance to property owner Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District aimed at finding opportunities to reuse the mill’s valuable infrastructure and strengthen the local economy.

“I am optimistic that the pulp mill can be repurposed in a way that provides jobs and protects the environment,” Rep. Huffman said. “It’s vital that the community find ways to take advantage of this important bay property.”

The Samoa pulp mill was built in the 1960s and passed through several owners until it finally closed in 2010. Abandoned on site in inadequate storage tanks was approximately four million gallons of caustic pulping chemicals. The Harbor District acquired the site and worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the state to safely ship out the chemicals and dismantle the tanks. The Harbor District is now working with Humboldt County to attract waterfront dependent businesses to the reclaimed site.

“This grant will help the Harbor District protect the infrastructure of the Samoa pulp mill property by attracting appropriate users to the site,” said Harbor District President Richard Marks. “We’re pleased to be working with county on a way forward for this significant asset.”

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Grant Scott-Goforth

Grant Scott-Goforth has been an assistant editor and staff writer for The Journal since 2013.

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