International Paper explains why it can’t shutdown Selma plant during pandemic

International Paper Riverdale plant in Selma.

International Paper, a major industry in Dallas County, said in a statement that it is continuing to operate its mills despite the coronavirus because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security considers forest products as an “essential industry.”

International Paper products are critical components of the supply chains required to produce and deliver food, pharmaceuticals, hygiene products and emergency supplies for consumers around the world, the company said in a statement.

And while “protecting the health and safety of our employees and contractors is our most important responsibility, we will continue to operate our mills and converting plants while practicing personal hygiene, social distancing, site cleaning and other measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” they said.

The firm said, “Our mills and converting plants are operated by highly trained employees who are considered ‘essential workers.’ Disruptions in the availability of our products would create significant hardships for consumers across the country and around the world. If our customers cannot get our products, health care facilities, first responders, grocery stores and homes across the country and around the world will be unable to access essential items.”

International Paper said they will remain committed to protecting  the health and safety of  employees and contractors while making invaluable contributions that help people and communities respond to the coronavirus pandemic.