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N.S. issues order to govern Northern Pulp shutdown

May 14, 2020  By P&PC Staff

Northern Pulp. Photo © Murdo Ferguson/Paper ExcellencePhoto © Murdo Ferguson/Paper Excellence

Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister Gordon Wilson issued an order to Northern Pulp today with instructions on how the mill must manage its site during its indefinite shutdown.

The order indicates that Northern Pulp may not produce any pulp until it receives an industrial approval from the Department of Environment.

The company will be responsible for insuring and maintaining the mill and site to ensure the environment is not impacted by the cessation of pulp production.


Northern Pulp must provide a list at the end of every month outlining what activities were performed at the site during that calendar month that could impact the environment.

While the mill officially closed at the end of January, wastewater from the power boiler was still running into Boat Harbour until Apr. 26, when the discharge pipe was capped.

The May 14 ministerial order prohibits any air emissions, as well as any wastewater – including pulping liquor, wash-down water, domestic sewage and boiler blow-down water – from entering the Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility.

A third-party engineer must create a plan to decommission the facility and submit it to the department no later than May 29. Northern Pulp is not permitted to remove infrastructure from the facility without permission from the government.

The province is funding half of the cost up to $10 million to fully shut down the Boat Harbour treatment centre.

Paper Excellence Canada, the owner of the idled pulp mill, will be responsible for the other half of the project costs, according to a statement released May 12 by the government.

Read the full ministerial order here.

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