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WEYERHAEUSER, WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY REACH SETTLEMENT ON AIR POLLUTION FINE

WEYERHAEUSER, WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY REACH SETTLEMENT
 ON AIR POLLUTION FINE
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY) will donate more than $135,000 to local fire departments, county health and emergency services agencies, a community hospital and a school district as part of a $165,950 enforcement settlement with the Washington State Department of Ecology, the department said today.
 The settlement resolves Weyerhaeuser's appeal of an air pollution penalty assessed last October to the company's Cosmopolis pulp mill. The penalty was issued for 15 hydrogen sulfide odor violations involving the mill's wastewater treatment ponds.
 The settlement was announced today by Ecology Director Chuck Clarke and Weyerhaeuser's Carl Geist, vice president, Pulp and Recycling.
 "This settlement is an excellent example of the innovative enforcement policy Ecology advocates to resolve environmental problems in the best interest of the local community," Clarke said. "We also appreciate Weyerhaeuser's willingness to go above and beyond the monetary value of the original penalty."
 "Our goal has been and continues to be to eliminate the ponds as soon as we can," Geist said. "We did not expect the pond elimination project to have an odor impact, but we have been responsible in how we addressed the problem once it arose. We hope the public understands we have been working hard to resolve this situation."
 Under the agreement, Weyerhaeuser will donate:
 -- $47,150 to the Grays Harbor Community Hospital to purchase equipment for the Emergency Room and Respiratory Therapy Department;
 -- $46,200 to the Cosmopolis Fire Department to purchase emergency respiratory response equipment, a computer and related software for air release disaster response, and other items including community disaster planning brochures;
 -- $20,600 to the Aberdeen Fire Department to purchase emergency respiratory response equipment;
 -- an $11,000 hydrogen sulfide monitor to the Grays Harbor County Environmental Health Department;
 -- $6,000 to Grays Harbor County Emergency Services to purchase a computer and related software for disaster response assistance; and
 -- $5,000 to the Aberdeen School District to support environmental education workshops and purchase curriculum materials.
 According to Ecology's enforcement policy, settlement funds can be applied to environmental activities or services in the local community where the enforcement action occurred. Local officials identified the specific items as general community needs related to air quality, not the odor associated with the ponds.
 "Even though the violations cited in the original penalty do not allege health impacts on nearby residents, nor find liability, we are pleased this funding will benefit the Grays Harbor area," Geist said. "Weyerhaeuser has had a long-standing committment to the community, and we want to be the best possible neighbor."
 Weyerhaeuser will also pay $30,000 to Ecology. Of that, approximately $20,000 will be used to set up a meteorological station in the Aberdeen area. Ecology will use the weather information from the station to better monitor air quality in the area.
 The other $10,000 will be deposited into the state Air Pollution Control Account.
 Clarke said Ecology will continue to work with Weyerhaeuser to ensure everything possible is done to prevent odor violations.
 The odors developed last year when solids in the ponds were not completely dredged and aerators -- devices that inject air into the wastewater to enhance biological treatment -- were removed. When deprived of oxygen, the remaining solids on the bottom of the ponds became "anaerobic," which produced the odors.
 To help solve the problem, Weyerhaeuser re-installed aerators in three wastewater ponds to keep them in an "aerobic" condition. An oxygen "cap" has also been installed on the fourth wastewater pond and the active dredge spoils area.
 When wastewater treatment system changes are finalized at the mill in October, aerators will be installed in the fourth pond.
 Weyerhaeuser also recently installed three hydrogen sulfide air monitors around the area.
 "We are pleased with Weyerhaeuser's recent efforts to minimize odors from its treatment ponds, but Ecology will continue to closely monitor the situation," Clarke said.
 -0- 9/3/92
 /CONTACT: Greg Sorlie of the Washington State Department of Ecology, 206-459-6037; Mike Bickford of Weyerhaeuser, 206-532-7110/
 (WY) CO: Washington State Department of Ecology; Weyerhaeuser Co. ST: Washington IN: PAP SU:


LM-JH -- SE013 -- 6734 09/03/92 19:16 EDT
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Date:Sep 3, 1992
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