Results of Samples of Fish Species Collected from the Pearl River on September 22, 2011

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On August 9, 2011, the Temple-Inland Bogalusa Paperboard Mill began experiencing waste water problems. The multiple effect evaporator was in an upset condition and was effecting the black liquor waste water process and the waste water treatment process. Untreated or partially treated black liquor began to be discharged from the facility into the Pearl River. Dead fish began appearing along the Pearl River.

On August 9, 2011, the Temple-Inland Bogalusa Paperboard Mill began experiencing waste water problems. The multiple effect evaporator was in an upset condition and was effecting the black liquor waste water process and the waste water treatment process. Untreated or partially treated black liquor began to be discharged from the facility into the Pearl River. Dead fish began appearing along the Pearl River.

On August 11, 12 and 13, 2011, the BOD in the waste water discharged into the Pearl River was in excess of the allowable daily maximum permit limit. The permit limit was 35,610 pounds per day. The contaminated waste water contained greater than 116, 000 pounds per day.

On August 13, 2011 a very large number of dead fish began appearing downstream of the Temple-Inland facility. The black liquor contaminated waste water discharged on August 13, 2011 consisted of 15 million gallons. On August 14, 2011 the Temple-Inland mill was shut down and contaminated waste water was stopped from being discharged into the Pearl River.

On August 17, 2011, eight days after the contaminated waste water began to be discharged from the Temple-Inland Bogalusa Mill into the Pearl River and four days after the contaminated waste water discharge into the Pearl River supposedly was stopped, along with the shutdown of the mill, LMRK and LEAN collected water and mussel samples from the Pearl River.

The Pearl River water sample and mussel samples collected August 17, 2011, contained Phenol and 3 & 4-Methylphenol. The mussel samples also contained Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate.

The Phenol and 3 & 4-Methylphenol chemicals are associated with the process and waste water of the Temple-Inland Bogalusa Paperboard Mill. The Phenol is reported as being released from the mill stack (7,800 pounds per year) and transferred to farms within 25 miles of the mill for disposal via land treatment.

Phenol is a mutagen that may cause genetic changes. Limited evidence indicates phenol may damage the developing fetus in animals. Phenol irritates the nose, throat and lungs. Exposure causes headaches, dizziness, light headiness. Phenol damages the liver, kidneys, and the nervous system.

3 & 4-Methylphenol is a human carcinogen.  It irritates and burns the skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs. It damages the liver and kidneys and causes skin allergies.

On September 22, 2011, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper recieved fish of five different species of fish from the Pearl River Basin from a local fisherman. The samples were provided to Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper (LMRK). LEAN and LMRK prepared fillets of each of the six samples and sent the samples to Pace Analytical Services for analysis. The tissues samples were analyzed for Phenol, 3 & 4-Methylphenol and Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate. The sample numbers, species of fish and analytical results of the tissue samples were as follows:

Sample LMRK-PR 001:   Phenol None Detected
Yellow Catfish 3 & 4 Methylphenol None Detected
  Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate None Detected
 
Sample LMRK-PR 002:   Phenol None Detected
Yellow Catfish 3 & 4 Methylphenol None Detected
  Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate None Detected
 
Sample LMRK-PR 003:   Phenol None Detected
Blue Catfish 3 & 4 Methylphenol None Detected
  Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate None Detected
 
Sample LMRK-PR 004:   Phenol None Detected
White Perch 3 & 4 Methylphenol None Detected
  Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate None Detected
 
Sample LMRK-PR 005:   Phenol None Detected
Largemouth Bass 3 & 4 Methylphenol None Detected
  Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate None Detected
 
Sample LMRK-PR 006:   Phenol None Detected
Alligator Gar 3 & 4 Methylphenol None Detected
  Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate None Detected

The six tissue samples did not contain detectable levels of Phenol, 3 & 4 Methylphenol, or Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate.

Conclusion

The fillet tissue of the six species of fish collected from the Pearl River on September 22, 2011, did not contain detectable concentrations of the three chemicals that had been previously detected in the water and mussel samples collected from the Pearl River.

  • riverkeeper
  • Pearl River
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