A comprehensive Oregon State University study of aquatic animals near the Georgia Pacific effluent pipe off Nye Beach showed that the effluent line is not causing havoc on the underwater environment as many have claimed in the past. In fact the study which measured chemical contaminates in the water, and in the fish in the area, showed very low levels of any toxic bioaccumulation. There were no elevated levels of PCB’s, phenolic compounds or PBDE in any of the organisms tested.
The study which ran from August through October in 2012, and then briefly again in the fall of 2013, gives GP pretty much a clean bill of health.
The scientists said they could not relate accumulated concentrations of any chemicals to the GP outfall. They said fish, crab, and shrimp collected from subtidal sites had higher concentration of metals at points far away from the effluent pipes mixing zone. Rock Scallops collected near the mixing zone showed higher concentrations of two metals as compared to the one location farther away at Seal rock, while three metals showed higher concentrations from the Seal Rock site, which is well far south of the GP outfall.
However, Mussels and and olive snails collected from Nye Beach, near GP’s mixing zone, which is also close to the Newport Wastewater Plant outfall and Nye Creek, had higher concentrations of metals compared to beaches far away. None of the detected chemicals approached concentration levels that pose any human health hazard if eaten.