January 2012
Over The Wire Tissue Edition
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K-C Closing Everett Mill after Talks to Sell it Break Down

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Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, Texas, USA, reports that its pulp mill at Everett, Wash., will permanently close by the end of March, after negotiations to sell it to Atlas Holdings recently broke down over environmental issues. Most of the mill’s some 700 employees will soon be out of a job, with the facility being operated by a skeleton crew. Eventually, the waterfront site will be razed and sold for development, according to a local newspaper report.
K-C had announced in January 2011 that it was closing down the last of its pulp operations, including the Everett mill. On September 1, the company announced it would lay off workers if a buyer could not be found by the end of the year.

The newspaper report noted that the environmental issues were related to Everett’s East Waterway, which is part of the governor’s Puget Sound Initiative to clean up pollutants. Scientists are studying the area’s pollution and who should be responsible to clean it up. The waterway has been identified to contain dioxin, a carcinogenic toxin produced during bleaching of pulp with elemental chlorine.

The Everett mill was started up in 1931 as Puget Sound Pulp and Timber Co. It became Soundview Pulp Co. in 1935 and was purchased by Scott Paper in 1951. Scott merged with K-C in 1985. Since the merger, K-C has invested some $300 million in the Everett operations, installing major wastewater treatment systems, adding a new effluent outfall, and switching its pulp bleaching from elemental chlorine to chlorine dioxide.



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