TALLAHASSEE – “After careful consideration and based on the conclusions of Judge Bram D.E. Canter’s recommendation, I have signed a Final Order to approve International Paper’s permit application and the company-planned reconfiguration of its Pensacola Mill at Cantonment in Escambia County.
“The final order will, after years of legal challenges, issue a permit for the mill. The permit strictly outlines all of the necessary improvements International Paper needs to make in order to protect the area’s natural resources as well as enhance the biological diversity and productivity of the nearby wetlands.
“Specifically, the permit requires International Paper to upgrade their wastewater treatment and relocate the existing discharge from Eleven Mile Creek to an effluent distribution system in a 1,381 acre wetland tract, with an additional 1,188 acres that will be managed as a conservation area. These changes in land management activities and the relocation and modification of the effluent distribution system will result in the restoration of the historic ecosystems. The permit also requires IP to achieve compliance with all water quality standards and permit limits by the end of the consent order.
“We look forward to working with both International Paper and community members to ensure that the mill’s enhancements protect the region’s natural resources and economy.”
What is being announced?
What are the environmental benefits of the new permit?
What type of permit has the facility been operating under?
When did the facility apply for a proposed permit?
These actions were petitioned by the Friends of Perdido Bay and additional residents near the mill in May 2005, and an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) within the Department of Administrative Hearings was assigned to the case. An administrative hearing on the proposed permit began on May 31, 2006, and concluded on July 28, 2006. The ALJ entered his Recommended Order on May 11, 2007, recommending DEP deny the proposed agency actions.
On August 8, 2007, DEP entered a Final Order adopting the ALJ’s recommendations.
On August 10, 2007, IP filed an appeal of DEP’s Final Order with the First District Court of Appeal. The company requested the Department grant a stay of the Final Order to allow IP’s Pensacola Mill to continue to operate while the appeal process moves forward.
On August 22, 2007, the Department entered an Order granting IP’s request for a stay of DEP’s Final Order, and placed additional requirements on IP’s discharge.
When did the facility apply for the current proposed permit?
What are the next steps?
View the Final Order.
"The final order will, after years of legal challenges, issue a permit for the mill. The permit strictly outlines all of the necessary improvements International Paper needs to make in order to protect the area’s natural resources as well as enhance the biological diversity and productivity of the nearby wetlands."
Michael W. Sole
Last updated: March 12, 2010