Georgia Pacific responds to environmental study - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Georgia Pacific responds to environmental study

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CROSSETT, AR. (KNOE 8 News) - Georgia Pacific responds to an environmental study that links the paper mill's emissions to sick residents in Crossett.

The Louisiana Environmental Action Network teamed up with the Ouachita Riverkeeper to conduct a study over the last two years in southeastern Arkansas. The report shows chemicals in the air and water in Crossett and links them to the declining health of Crossett residents.

In an interview with Cheryl Slavant of the Ouachita Riverkeepers, she said, "In Arkansas, the water is much lighter, but when it gets to Georgia Pacific's discharge point, the color changes, and the river in Louisiana is an entirely different color, and it brings odors, and chemicals with it."

The study blames the GP paper mill for the emissions and for the sick people in the town.

"This is an outstanding community as far as being ill from the emissions from the industrial facility and the waste water treatment plant here in Crossett," said Wilma Subra of LEAN.

A representative from Georgia Pacific disagrees with the study and released the following statement: "The survey asked how often this small percentage of residents experienced common ailments such as headaches, eye irritation, and coughing. Any suggestion that those conditions are linked to GP's Crossett operations is simply not based on facts."

To prove this, GP cites a letter written to the concerned environmental group by the EPA two years ago. It says GP met the requirements of the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, and the Arkansas water quality standards.

Georgia Pacific says these same standards are being met today.

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