Georgia-Pacific updates Fenholloway River clean-up project

Published: Aug. 21, 2019 at 4:28 PM EDT
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

August 21, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Georgia-Pacific provided an update to the clean-up of the Fenholloway River to the community gathered at the Tallahassee Rotary Club.

CEO Christian Fischer spoke to attendees after flying in from Atlanta.

Fischer began by showing a video, and discussing Georgia-Pacific's $1.8 billion dollar investment in Florida.

He spoke about the role of business in society, stressing the importance of utilizing the smallest amount of resources.

"Waste is an enemy," said Fischer.

He said business should try to create the least waste possible, and innovate relentlessly.

Fischer also discussed work at the Perry Mill on the Fenholloway River, with a goal of making the river safe to swim and fish in.

Georgia-Pacific has invested $250 million so far; the clean-up plan has three parts.

"First, make us consume less water. B, make it cleaner, and C, through the pipeline, actually make it discharge in the bay, rather than the smaller Fenholloway river," said Fischer. "The first two parts inside the mill are already completed and functional and are showing good results of less water usage, and cleaner water."

The pipeline that will carry the wastewater to the bay is still under construction.

The deadline for completion is March 6, 2021; Fischer said the project is on schedule.

After his presentation, Fischer took questions from the crowd gathered.

One man asked about his projections for farmers to the west who were hurt by Hurricane Michael, and another asked about the possibility of utilizing the damaged lumber.

Fischer explained that some of the markets are having difficulty, in part due to trade wars with China.

"Over time, the market will work it out between different participants," said Fischer. "I don't have a silver bullet."

Other attendees thanked Fischer and Georgia-Pacific for their work in cleaning up the Fenholloway River.

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