Camas Environmental, Health and Safety Performance

Camas Paper Mill Homepage

Georgia-Pacific and our Camas employees are committed to managing our operations in a manner that protects the environment and the health and safety of employees, customers, contractors and the community. We fully comply with applicable laws and regulations and challenge ourselves to continuously improve environmental, health and safety performance.

Community Advisory Panel

A Community Advisory Panel (CAP) was created by the Camas Mill in 2001. The panel members are representative of the community’s diverse residents and interests. In this advisory capacity, the CAP has discussed and addressed such subjects as community involvement, community support, mill water use, permit renewals, mill environmental improvements, and the community–wide warning system. Our mill values the panel’s input, and has taken action on many of the group’s recommendations, particularly with respect to the mill’s contact and interaction with area residents.

Community Warning System

The community warning notification system was updated in 2003 as part of the mill’s continuing commitment to safety and community outreach. The mill has two electronic sirens, one installed at each end of the mill’s property, that can broadcast a warning 360° within one mile of the mill. These sirens are used to alert the community to an emergency that may require people to evacuate or stay inside until an all-clear is given. Examples of such emergencies are earthquakes, severe weather, train derailments, hazardous materials spills, and volcano eruptions. Georgia-Pacific worked closely with the Camas police and fire departments to create this community-wide system.

The community emergency system siren is tested every day at noon. The test tone is the Westminster Chime. Additionally, there are other mill internal alarms that are tested the first Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m.

In the case of a real emergency, a siren tone is used. If this is sounded, you must tune in to a radio or TV station for further instructions. The emergency siren may be followed by an oral message, such as “Train derailment…possible hazards…stay inside until all-clear broadcast.” Once the emergency concludes, an all-clear tone (single, steady tone) will be sounded.

Information on Mill Odors

Occasionally, you can smell a distinctive odor from the mill. The Camas mill uses a common pulping method called the kraft process. This process can produce a strong pulp from almost any wood species. In the kraft process, wood is cooked under pressure in a solution consisting of sodium hydroxide, sodium sulfide, and sodium carbonate.

A byproduct of this process is odors that have a sulfur smell. Similar odors can also come from our wastewater treatment system. The most prevalent compounds are methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, and hydrogen sulfide, along with some other sulfur-based compounds.

These gases can be detected by the human nose at very low concentrations: less than one part per billion in air. These levels are not harmful to humans. Through the years, the mill and the industry as a whole, has introduced technologies to reduce the amount of these odorous gases. However, you still may smell them on occasion.

If you have questions about the mill and its operations, feel free to call our clockroom attendant at 360-834-3021 and your call will be directed to the appropriate person to talk with you.