PORT TOWNSEND - Many residents in the county, including those that have lived here their entire lives, are expressing a growing concern that the odor from the Port Townsend Paper Corporation is getting unbearably worse, possibly even toxic. Many residents are reporting that the odor is so strong that it causes intense physical reactions and physical ailments including asthma, nausea, and fatigue. At least one resident has moved because health effects had become too severe.
A group on Facebook named MillOdorous was created to collect reports and there are currently 186 members in the group at press time. Users are invited to share their odor reports, which should include: time, date, address (approximate), and rating from 1-10.
Admins of the page are collecting reports and plotting them on a virtual map to send to local officials each month including the Department of Ecology, Port Townsend Paper Company, Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, Port Townsend City Council, Jefferson Healthcare Hospital Commissioner and Candidates, Jefferson County Public Health, Washington Department of Health, Mike Chapman WA State Rep., and Hannah Burn at the City of Port Townsend Special Projects.
The group states: “It is not our intention to shut down the mill. We honor the mill jobs that are held by our friends and neighbors. We want the out-of-town CEO's to reinvest profits to upgrade operations beyond just being in compliance, to care about the health of this community, and to be better neighbors.”
Members of the group report smelling the familiar mill smell as far as Eaglemount Road in Chimacum and more frequently in the Tri-Area, although most pollution reports are currently being reported within Port Townsend city limits.
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