Mill leak closes Willis Avenue Thursday

Published 9:29 am Friday, June 12, 2015

On Wednesday evening, the International Paper Bogalusa Mill experienced a slight leak in a process unit that created a mist of diluted black liquor, the majority of which spilled onto mill property, according to a mill representative.

“We are confident that there is no risk to human health or to the environment,” Bogalusa Mill spokesman Kalisa Hyman said in a release.

Parts of Willis Avenue beside the mill were closed to traffic Thursday as work crews cleaned up the spill. Hazmat crews were on the scene at the mill to perform cleanup duties, which included spreading sand across Willis Avenue to soak up the substance.

Hyman said no mill personnel were impacted. An individual fishing at Bogalusa Creek at the time was taken to the hospital as a precaution and released shortly thereafter. A small amount of the substance is believed to have made its way into the

The incident was immediately reported to the appropriate authorities, according the release.

“The safety of our employees and the people of Bogalusa continue to be our biggest priorities,” Hyman said.

In 2011 previous mill owner Temple-Inland was responsible for a black liquor discharge that lasted 4 1/2 days and was responsible for killing thousands of fish and other wildlife in the Pearl River.