"Paper Mill Admits Fault as Dead Fish Flow To Lake Pontchartrain"

"The paper mill lnked to a substantial fish kill in the Pearl River system cautiously admitted responsibility Wednesday, as the trail of dead fish reached Lake Pontchartrain and a reservoir near Jackson, Miss., was opened in an attempt to flush the pollutants out.

Officials from the Temple-Inland plant in Bogalusa acknowledged that a mixture of pulp from the paper-manufacturing process and unspecified chemicals poured into the Pearl River late last week at levels exceeding the plant's environmental permits and might have depleted oxygen levels in the Pearl and its tributaries.

Numerous species of fish and shellfish, in large numbers, have turned up dead in the Pearl River system since the weekend as a result.

With thoughts of last year's massive BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico close at hand, government officials mobilized to coordinate a cleanup effort."

Katie Urbaszewski reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune August 17, 2011.

Friday, August 19, 2011