Statement from Michael
Herman, SVP & General Counsel, Rayonier Inc.:
"While we have not yet
been officially served, we were notified by lawyers for ARK of their plans to
file a lawsuit relating to the ongoing operations of our Jesup, Georgia
mill. We are deeply disappointed by this action. Our Jesup mill
operates in full compliance with its permits, its agreements with the State of
Georgia and all applicable state and federal regulations.
In the past five years
alone, we've invested more than $70 million to reduce color in the water from
our mill. The results are undeniable: Thanks to these investments and the
hard work of our employees, we've successfully reduced color by more than 50
percent. We're achieving color reductions well ahead of the schedule agreed to
with the State. And we're not done. We are committed to continuous
We have always sought
a productive dialogue with ARK. However, despite our many attempts at
direct outreach, tours of our facility and meetings, the recent response from
ARK has been public misinformation campaigns and, now, litigation.
ARK and their three
sets of lawyers have chosen to litigate, which, unfortunately, will only be
counterproductive. With the momentum and progress we have already
achieved and with Rayonier's willingness to work collaboratively to identify
additional opportunities, working together would be a more effective means of
achieving our mutual objectives. Litigation does not solve scientific and
engineering challenges—ideas and collaboration do.
Rayonier takes its
environmental responsibilities seriously. We intend to vigorously defend
ourselves against this baseless lawsuit and look forward to a judicial decision
on the merits of the case."