Blue Ridge Paper Co.

Canton, NC: Approximately 300 landowners joined a class action lawsuit against Blue Ridge Paper alleging continuing pollution from its paper mill in Canton, NC, 30 miles upstream from the Tennessee-North Carolina border. A $2 million class action settlement provides damages to landowners along the Pigeon River. It was the third class action lawsuit since the 1990s against Blue Ridge Paper and its predecessor, Champion International. The paper mill opened in 1908, but major improvements to the Pigeon River didn't occur until 1997, when environmentalists and Cocke County residents - not to mention then Vice President Al Gore - pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a stiffer wastewater discharge permit for the paper mill. Under the verdict, the landowners would likely split the damage award equally, at about $4,300 apiece after legal fees. (Jan-27-07) [KNOXVILLE NEWS: BLUE RIDGE PAPER]

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This is the same old story about people who move into a neighborhood close to an airport and then gripe about the noise. You move near a paper mill and then complain about the smell or other pollutants. No one placed a pistol to your head and forced you to live there.

If you lived there before 1908 you would have a legitimate gripe. But you moved there knowing there was a paper mill nearby so honestly you have no reason to gripe.

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