Samoa Pulp Mill

All POL/SITREP's for this site Samoa Pulp Mill
Samoa, CA - EPA Region IX
Miscellaneous Chemical Disposal
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Samoa Pulp Mill - Removal Polrep

Region IX

Subject: POLREP #20
Miscellaneous Chemical Disposal
Samoa Pulp Mill

Samoa, CA
Latitude: 40.8049600 Longitude: -124.1933100

To: Harry Allen, EPA Region 9
Peter Guria, EPA Region 9
Dan Meer, EPA Region 9

From: Chris Weden, OSC
Date: 3/17/2016
Reporting Period: 3/14-19/2016

1. Introduction
  1.1 Background
Site Number: A949    Contract Number: EP-S9-12-01
D.O. Number: 0937    Action Memo Date: 7/30/2014
Response Authority: CERCLA    Response Type: Emergency
Response Lead: EPA    Incident Category: Removal Action
NPL Status: Non NPL    Operable Unit:
Mobilization Date: 9/30/2013    Start Date: 10/1/2013
Demob Date:      Completion Date: 6/30/2016
ERNS No.:    State Notification:
FPN#:    Reimbursable Account #:

1.1.1 Incident Category 

Emergency Response

1.1.2 Site Description
The Samoa Pulp Mill Site is a 70 acre former industrial pulp manufacturing facility.  The pulp mill was constructed in 1963 by Georgia Pacific.  In the early 1970's Louisiana Pacific acquired and ran the facility until 1990.  From 1990 until 2008 various smaller groups owned and operated the facility.  The last operating owner of the facility was the Evergreen Pulp Company which ran the facility until 2008.  Evergreen experienced financial difficulties and "walked away" from the mill site without properly closing operations.  Sometime in 2009 a venture group called Freshwater Tissue Company purchased the facility site with intent of converting to a tissue mill.  This quickly failed to reach fruition and Freshwater began scrapping the facility and consolidating hazardous waste.  In August of 2013 Freshwater Tissue Company sold the facility to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District (the “Harbor District”). The facility is currently staffed with 2 part-time Humboldt Bay Harbor District employees. Location

The Samoa Pulp Mill Site is located within Humboldt County in Samoa, CA.  The Site is approximately 70 acres of industrial pulp processing operations and is situated on the North Spit of Humboldt Bay.  The facility is on the shore line of Humboldt Bay and has an industrial wharf on the Bay.  The Pacific Ocean is located within 800 yds to the west of the facility. Description of Threat

The primary concern was 11 ASTs containing approximately 3 million gallons of highly caustic liquids (pH greater than 13).  Five of these ASTs were not designed to store caustic liquids and periodic seismic activity (6.8 earthquake occurred off coast of Humboldt Co. 3/9/2014) caused grave concern regarding their stability.  Additionally, there were a half dozen ASTs containing 2000-3000 gallons of sulfuric acid (pH less than 1), 3,000 tons of corrosive sludges in uncontained areas, approximately 3000 gallons of turpentine, and several thousand containers of various types (i.e., compressed gas cylinders, paints/thinners, mercury containing gauges and equipment).

1.1.3 Preliminary Removal Assessment/Removal Site Inspection Results

Please refer to previous Polreps

2. Current Activities
  2.1 Operations Section

2.1.1 Narrative

By July 10, 2015, all of the sludge had been solidified (over 10,000 tons) and transported off-site for disposal.  Approximately, 1265 tons of steel and 84 tons of stainless steel were recycled. 


The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District (HBHD) was ordered by the Humboldt County Division of Environmental Health (the “CUPA”) to conduct a thorough inventory of all remaining hazardous materials on the Samoa Pulp Mill property (HHW, waste oil, sand blast grit, etc.).  HBHD conducted this inventory during the week of July 6, 2015 and found more sulfuric acid sludge (stored in trash cans) and an array of chemicals throughout their facility.  Further, there were seven totes in an adjacent room that no one was aware of and an undetermined amount of contaminated rainwater in the tile tanks on the southwest portion of the Site.  County's HHW program and ERS agreed to return and remove the remainder, as HBHD did not have the resources to do so themselves.


ERS and ERRS were both short-handed throughout the fall of 2015 due to several ESF-10 responses. In January 2016 we were finally able to obtain profile samples of all the waste-streams that remained. These samples have been analyzed and ERRS obtained bid packages for the T&D of the waste-streams. 


During this reporting period, ERS and ERRS re-mobilized and completed removal of the wastes described above that HBHD could not address with the exception of the contaminated rainwater.  Each day began with a "Toolbox" Safety Meeting and topics related to the actual work activities scheduled for that particular day were discussed.  Please refer to a document on this webpage titled "Disposal Table March 15-19, 2016 for details on all the wastes removed during this period.


2.1.2 Response Actions to Date

 2.1.3 Enforcement Activities, Identity of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)


2.1.4 Progress Metrics

Waste Stream Medium Quantity Manifest # Treatment Disposal Recycled
Pulping Liquors  liquids 2.7m gallons        To date  - 2.7 million gallons.
Kapstone Paper Company, Longview, WA
Sulfuric Acid - Re-usable  liquids 6k gallons       Purchased by Valley Acid, Stratford, CA (11/13)
Sulfuric Acid - Waste  liquids 4k gallons    x  x  21st Century Environmental Management of CA, LP
Hydrochloric Acid - Waste  liquids 2,100 gallons 011138259 JJK  x  x  
Non-hazardous corrosive sludges solidified 7109  tons      x  Recology, Vacaville, CA
Subtitle D facility
Turpentine liquids 3k gallons        
Lab Chemicals various ~2k containers 0000990296DAT   x  x  21st Century Environmental Management of CA, LP
"HHW" type various ~2k containers        HBHD to coordinate with Humboldt County HD
Hg debris solid 2 drums of drebris  On file      Clean Harbors
Waste oils liquids ~2k gallons        ~200 gallons removed by Asbury Environmental for recycling
 Hg elemental  liquid  250 lbs        Arranging for retirement at Bethleham Apparatus via Stericycle
Hazardous corrosive sludges  solidified  ~3500 tons        US Ecology - Beatty, NV
and Kettleman Hills
 Non-hazardous corrosive liquids liquid 45,968 gallons         US Ecology - Beatty, NV
 Hazardous corrosive liquids liquid 105,198 gallons        US Ecology - Beatty, NV
 Sulfuric acid tank bottoms  sludge  14 over-packed drums        Clean Harbors
 Steel   3464 tons        Recycled at SIMS Metals in Richmond, CA
Stainless Steel    84 tons         Recycled at SIMS Metals in Richmond, CA

  2.2 Planning Section
 An undetermined amount of contaminated rainwater remains in several of the uncovered tile tanks.  These tanks once contained black and green pulping liquors.  ERS and ERRS are reviewing options to treat this rainwater on-site.

  2.3 Logistics Section
    ERS will issue a new WAF to the USCG PST for logistical support once the on-site treatment method for the contaminated rainwater is determined.

  2.4 Finance Section
    No information available at this time.

  2.5 Other Command Staff
    No information available at this time.

3. Participating Entities
  3.1 Unified Command

USEPA Federal On-Scene Coordinator

3.2 Cooperating Agencies

Humboldt Bay Harbor District

Samoa Volunteer FD

4. Personnel On Site
  At the end of this reporting period after various demobilizations.

2 - OSCs
1 - HBHD
6 - ERRS (EQM)

5. Definition of Terms
  No information available at this time.

6. Additional sources of information
  No information available at this time.

7. Situational Reference Materials
  No information available at this time.