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Rubber and Wood May 20, 2019 08:30:21 AM

Federal Judge Ratifies Lawsuit Against WestRock Mill in West Point

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The nearby residents, who filed the suit, had pleaded for a jury trial and not less than $25,000 each in damages and legal fees.
Federal Judge Ratifies Lawsuit Against WestRock Mill in West Point

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): A federal judge has granted request by West Point residents to sue the WestRock mill and one of its vendors over dust emissions from its paper mill on 14th Street. The judge, in his order, noted that the residents could sue the company in a group rather than individually.

According to filings, the residents cited that the mill operations resulted in wood dust being blown onto nearby land, causing harmful impacts on lives of people. The wood dust results from operations carried out by West Point Chips, one of its vendors, which takes wood and grinds it into chips, which in turn are used by the WestRock mill for containerboard production.

The nearby residents, who filed the suit, had pleaded for a jury trial and not less than $25,000 each in damages and legal fees. The court order by U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, John A. Gibney Jr stated that the WestRock paper mill is not a model neighbor. Further, it noted that owners and tenants within half a mile of 200 14th street as on December 15, 2017 will be eligible to be a party to the case.

Meantime, WestRock and West Point Chips have denied dust problems at the facility, saying that necessary actions were taken to address the problem of dust from the piles, even before the filing of the lawsuit in December 2017. The $50 million upgrade to the mill’s wood chip storage and transfer facilities have resulted in drastic reduction in the amount of fugitive dust from the mill facility, it said.

The trial date on the case will be decided after the June hearing.

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