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James River's dark coloring due to waste treatment issue, company says

Too much defoamer used in waste treatment

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COVINGTON, Va. – Westrock company officials said the waste treatment plant at the Covington paper mill experienced a foaming issue that created a white film on top of the James River.

The company says there was a need to use more than the usual amount of defoamer.

The river waters also turnned darker as a result of this treatment.

According to a statement from Westrock, the defoaming agent is a water-based, biodegradable food-grade product.

The color comes from the organic material in wood that holds paper fibers together.

The Department of Environmental Quality is aware of the situation.

The company is monitoring the Waste Treatment system now, and says the river color should be back to normal in a few days.