Rep. Huffman announces economic development grant to plan future of Samoa pulp mill
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jared Huffman today announced an Economic Development Administration grant that will help plan future uses of the old Samoa pulp mill. The $155,000 grant will provide technical assistance to property owner Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District aimed at finding opportunities to reuse the mill’s valuable infrastructure and strengthen the local economy.
“I am optimistic that the pulp mill can be repurposed in a way that provides jobs and protects the environment,” Rep. Huffman said. “It’s vital that the community find ways to take advantage of this important bay property.”
The Samoa pulp mill was built in the 1960s and passed through several owners until it finally closed in 2010. Abandoned on site in inadequate storage tanks was approximately four million gallons of caustic pulping chemicals. The Harbor District acquired the site and worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the state to safely ship out the chemicals and dismantle the tanks. The Harbor District is now working with Humboldt County to attract waterfront dependent businesses to the reclaimed site.
“This grant will help the Harbor District protect the infrastructure of the Samoa pulp mill property by attracting appropriate users to the site,” said Harbor District President Richard Marks. “We’re pleased to be working with county on a way forward for this significant asset.”