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Agreement on environmental responsibility for Marathon pulp mill in the works


September 20, 2011
By Pulp & Paper Canada

A Northern Ontario newspaper reports that a two-year dispute over who is responsible for the dormant pulp mill in Marathon, Ont., could be resolved early next month. According to the Chronicle Journal (reported on Sept. 20), the Ministry of…

A Northern Ontario newspaper reports that a two-year dispute over who is responsible for the dormant pulp mill in Marathon, Ont., could be resolved early next month. According to the Chronicle Journal (reported on Sept. 20), the Ministry of Environment, former mill co-owner Tembec and other un-named parties have reached a tentative settlement.

The newspaper says the deal could be endorsed by the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) on Oct. 6. Tembec has been controlling and monitoring the former Marathon Pulp Inc. property for just over two years under a ministry director’s order.

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The plant went bankrupt in March of 2009. The ministry’s order didn’t go into effect until June of that year. The ministry said the company was responsible, especially to prevent spills of leftover industrial chemicals. According to the Chronicle Journal report, in the winter of 2009-10, Tembec was forced to clean up spills of diluted black liquor that leaked from frozen pipes when the company tried to pump it into a secondary treatment plant.

The tentative agreement could set the stage for a new owner for the mill, possibly Toronto-based Protocol Biomass Corp., says the paper. Protocol has said it wants to convert the pulp mill into a plant that produces a fuel product similar to wood pellets.


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