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WASHINGTON--Mar. 19--Ketchikan Pulp Corp., whose controversial 50-year contract for timber in the Tongass National Forest expires in 2004, is appealing to Congress to extend it another 15 years.
The company needs the extension to secure financing of $200 million in improvements, company spokesman and lobbyist Troy Reinhart said in an interview Monday.
The aging facility has been plagued by costly environmental problems. The company pleaded guilty to one felony and 13 misdemeanor charges and paid more than $6 million in criminal fines and civil penalties last year for violating federal air and water pollution laws.
Reinhart said "it's an open issue" about what will happen to the plant, Southeast Alaska's biggest …