Samoa Pulp Mill

Samoa, CA - Region IX

Site Contact:

Steve Calanog/Christopher Weden
OSC

calanog.steve@epa.gov

Samoa, CA 95564
response.epa.gov/samoapulpmill

Latitude: 40.8049600
Longitude: -124.1933100

The Samoa Pulp Mill was constructed in the early 1960's and operated under various owners until 2008 when operations came to an end. From 2008 until 2013 various investors sought funding to restart operations but were ultimately unsuccessful. In August of 2013 the Harbor District of Humboldt Bay (aka - The Port Authority) "bought" the mill for a "buck". Representatives contacted OSC Calanog to provide an assessment of the hazards that remained at the facility.

OSC Calanog and START contractors conducted two site-walks/removal assessments of the facility. Approximately 30 bulk storage tanks in various states of decay contain approximately 4 million gallons of pulping liquor - a highly corrosive liquid (> 13 pH) and approximately 10,000 gallons of sulphuric and hydrochloric acids. In addition, approximately 10,000 gallons of fuel and turpentines, as well as, over 3,000 tons of corrosive sludges are on-site. It was observed that the majority of tanks are leaking and also accumulating rain water. The facility is located on Humboldt Bay that is home to a wide variety of threatened and endangered species and is also the center of a growing and vibrant shell fish industry (i.e., oyster and clam beds). The facility is also within 800 yards of the Pacific Ocean.

On September 26th OSC exercised his warrant to initiate an emergency response to stabilize the site.


For additional information, visit the Pollution/Situation Report (Pol/Sitreps) and the Notices sections.