Massive Fish Kill in Pearl River

Over the weekend, there were many reports regarding a massive fish kill on the Pearl River, with the pollution causing this die-off emanating from Bogalusa. Check out some pics here…they aren’t pretty. While an official cause of the death of thousands of fish, turtles, and other critters that live in the river has not been determined, pollution from the Temple-Inland paper mill in Bogalusa is a prime suspect.This paper plant spewed “black liquor” , a by-product of the papermaking process, in to the Pearl. While one of the impacts of this nasty stuff can be reducing oxygen levels in the water making it impossible for fish and other creatures to survive, it also contains other potentially nasty stuff. For example, components of black liquor are used to make turpentine. While the agencies investigate this disaster unfolding on the Pearl, I am afraid that that they will not look into the acute and chronic impacts of pollution that was released into the river. It is obvious that low/no dissolved oxygen is not the only cause of the fish kill. For example, turtles breathe air, just like you and me, and yet they have been documented dead in the River.LDEQ claims that if Temple-Inland is found responsible, there will be hefty fines…I would hope so.

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