I am here as a representative of the Kardell Paper Company’s employee union. Recently there have been reports that the Sonox, a chemical used at the Riverside plant, in the river may be more invasive than previously reported. I want to make a statement to the Board regarding the issue of Sonox and the possibility of temporarily closing the plant for environmental upgrades.
A possible solution that has been brought up to the Board is to restructure the mill into a “closed cycle” system that would not allow chemicals like Sonox to reach the waters and harm our environment and our families. However, I believe that this solution is a pre-emptive plan considering there is not sufficient evidence that there is indeed any danger to the residents nearby or that Kardell is the only company using and disposing this chemical.
We want the board to take into consider that Kardell Paper Company’s Riverside plant is the largest employer in our community. The Riverside plant is not only the sole earnings of some residents, but because of the large number of residents working there, they indirectly undergird our community’s economy. I understand that if the plans to refit the plant are approve that the plant will possibly have to close for a year or more, if this were to happen it would greatly diminish our community’s ability to survive financially.
Given the relatively small amount of data currently available we would like to propose that the Kardell Paper Company postpones a decision on the plant renovations, in lieu of more definitive information. We would also like to recommend that Kardell conducts adequate research to determine the affects of Sonox. Finally we would propose that Kardell research viable ways to dispose of the chemical without having to close the plant for such a long period of time.