Feds sue former Tem­ple-in­land

Jus­tice De­part­ment files charges al­leg­ing waste­water spill vi­o­lated pol­lu­tion laws.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Barry Har­rell bhar­rell@states­man.com Charges

Fed­eral of­fi­cials have filed crim­i­nal charges against the former Tem­ple-In­land Inc. over an Au­gust 2011 spill of pol­lu­tants from the thenAustin-based com­pany’s Bo­galusa, La., pa­per mill.

The U.S. Jus­tice De­part­ment filed two misdemeanor charges against Tem­pleIn­land, al­leg­ing a vi­o­la­tion of the fed­eral Clean Water Act and a vi­o­la­tion of the fed­eral Refuge Act, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed in U.S. district court in Louisiana.

The charges stem from an in­ci­dent from Aug. 10 to Aug. 14, 2011, when Tem­pleIn­land’s plant re­leased waste­water into the Pearl River near Bo­galusa, a city of about 13,000 on the Louisiana-Mis- sis­sippi bor­der, about 70 miles north of New Or­leans. The dis­charge ex­ceeded the max­i­mum al­low­able pol­lu­tant lev­els for the plant, cre­at­ing a “liquor” that “robs the water of oxy­gen,” ac­cord­ing to the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s court fil­ing.

The dis­charge re­sulted in “a min­i­mum of a thou­sand dead fish” be­ing found, the fil­ing said. In news re­ports at the time of the spill, por­tions of the Pearl River were de­scribed as be­ing filled with black, oily water, with dead fish float­ing on the sur­face. The dis­charge was re­ported as far south as 50 miles and re­port­edly en­tered Lake Pontchar­train, which is just north of New Or­leans.

The sec­ond of the two charges, the al­leged vi­o­la­tion of the fed­eral Refuge Act, claims that Tem­ple-In­land from Aug. 12-17, 2011, “did neg­li­gently take with­out au­tho­riza­tion” about 1,000 dead fish from the Bogue Chitto

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