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Evergreen Packaging’s Canton, NC, paper mill seeks new wastewater permit; activists disagree

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Evergreen Packaging’s Canton, NC, paper mill seeks new wastewater permit; activists disagree

February 03, 2021 - 15:36
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ASHEVILLE, NC, Feb. 3, 2021 (Local News) -At its Haywood County headwaters, the Pigeon River is just what the words “mountain stream” call to mind: cool, clear waters teeming with aquatic life. 

But roughly 40 miles downstream — after some of that water flows through the Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton — it’s a different story. Just across the Tennessee border, the water is the color of sweet tea, saysDeborah Bahr, director of the environmental advocacy group Clean Water Expected in East Tennessee. More often than not, she adds, the water looks foamy and has a chemical smell that sticks in the back of the throat, “almost like you can taste it.”  

Canton’s paper mill, long a source of local environmental concern, is back in the spotlight as advocacy groups and state agencies debate changes to the facility’s wastewater discharge permits, which are on track for renewal later this year. At the request of Tennessee state environmental officials, an online public hearing to review the draft permit, originally scheduled for Jan. 20, was pushed back to mid-April.

Mountain Xpress - Canton’s paper mill seeks new wastewater permit; activists disagree

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