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N.S., Northern Pulp to split costs in shutdown process, cleanup

May 13, 2020  By P&PC Staff

Northern Pulp. Photo: © Murdo Ferguson/Paper Excellence

The province of Nova Scotia is funding half of the cost up to $10 million to fully shut down Northern Pulp’s effluent treatment facility.

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.

Project costs will be validated by accounting firm Grant Thornton.


The province owns the pipe that runs from the mill to Boat Harbour, which is adjacent to Pictou Landing First Nation.

The funding is being used for removal of the leachate, and the decommissioning of the pipes, ditches, and settling and aeration basins on the site.

The company’s work plan is in line with orders from the minister of environment and must be completed before Nova Scotia Lands can remediate Boat Harbour in 2021.

Paper Excellence expects the shutdown process will be finished by June 30, 2021.

Northern Pulp closed on Jan. 31 without an approved replacement for its wastewater treatment plant. In 2015, the province gave the mill five years to stop using Boat Harbour for its effluent disposal.

The company has said that it wants to reopen the kraft pulp mill with a new wastewater treatment facility. So far, the company’s proposed plant has not been approved by the government, and has been met with community opposition.

The next stage in the process is an environmental assessment report of the proposed facility. Paper Excellence received the report’s final terms of reference from the province on Apr. 29.

Among the requirements are a thorough explanation of the proposed treatment facility’s design and impact to the environment, along with planned changes to the mill that may affect the performance of the effluent treatment facility.

The company has up to two years to submit the report for approval.

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