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N.S. groups call on environment minister to oppose Northern Pulp’s focus report


November 21, 2019
By P&PC Staff

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Groups opposed to Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment system gathered at a press conference in Pictou, Nova Scotia on November 19 to voice their concern about a focus report the mill submitted to the province last month.

According to The Chronicle Herald, the stakeholders included Friends of Northumberland Strait, the Town of Pictou, Pictou Landing First Nation and a local fishermen’s group. In a joint statement, they said that Northern Pulp’s focus report last month did not provide enough information to indicate the new treatment system would not harm the environment or the local fishing waters, and requested that the province’s environment minister not greenlight the project.

Northern Pulp, owned by Paper Excellence, has been ordered by the province of Nova Scotia to remove its effluent treatment pipe from its current location, which runs near the Pictou Landing First Nation and into Boat Harbour, by January 2020.

The mill’s proposed replacement plan includes a new effluent treatment facility constructed on Northern Pulp property. A 15.5-kilometre water pipe would deliver treated effluent to Caribou Harbour, in the Northumberland Strait. On October 2, Northern Pulp submitted a focus report to the province, providing additional details about the drainage pipe’s environmental impact.

While the focus report indicates the mill’s proposed system would meet and exceed federal requirements for pulp and paper waste, the local groups say the report does not indicate that the quality of the effluent that would be drained into the strait will be an improvement over what is currently going into Boat Harbour.

The deadline for Nova Scotia environment minister Gordon Wilson to approve the treatment plant’s construction is Dec. 17.

Read the full story at The Chronicle Herald.