STATEMENT: Rayonier Inc. on lawsuit filing

STATEMENT: Rayonier Inc. on lawsuit filing

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 improvement.

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."