By Jacksonville Business Journal

St. Johns Riverkeeper Neil Armingeon expressed his support Monday for Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love's resolution to delay granting a discharge permit to Georgia-Pacific.

"The public, who stand to lose the most, have a right to have our questions answered," Armingeon said. in a noon news conference at Jacksonville City Hall.

Armingeon said he concerned about the amount of dioxin on being discharged by the company into the St. Johns River. Georgia-Pacific officials said they are in compliance with environmental regulations. Love's resolution asks the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to delay renewing the permit until all questions are answered. Discharge permits must be renewed every five years, Anna Umphress, director of Public Affairs for Georgia-Pacific, said.

Armingeon has also released a letter from Lucinda Sonnenberg, research professor of chemistry at Jacksonville University dated Oct. 13. The scientist said in the letter that it is possbile that amounts of dioxin that exceed regulatory standards are being discharged by Georgia Pacific. The company has repeated said it does not release dioxin.

The company is currently building a pipeline for its treated wastewater to St. Johns River after the company couldn't meet environmental standards for discharging waste water into Rice Creek.

Umphress said the company is complying with all regulations and has spent about $200 million in significant improvements and upgrades to their manufacturing operations.

⿿Working with FDEP, Georgia-Pacific believes we continue to do the right things to meet our regulatory requirements and protect the health of the river.⿝

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