Northern Pulp: Fishermen’s group ‘appalled’ about lack of transparency
By P&PC Staff
By P&PC Staff
January 17, 2019 – A group representing the interests of Nova Scotia fishermen has expressed frustration at Northern Pulp’s lack of public consultation ahead of its environmental assessment filing later this month.
The News, a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia–based publication, reports that the Friends of Northumberland Strait organization has released a statement saying, “Concerned citizens and fishermen say they are appalled that Northern Pulp does not plan to hold any open houses or public consultation before filing for environmental assessment.”
The Abercrombie, Nova Scotia–based Northern Pulp has been ordered by the Nova Scotia government to stop diverting its effluent through the nearby Pictou Landing First Nations reserve, which sees untreated effluent piped into the Boat Harbour facility before being emptied into the strait. The mill was given five years come up with a new plan, with the deadline coming up in January 2020.
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Northern Pulp’s proposed plan has the effluent treatment on-site at the mill, with a mostly land-based pipeline leading to a terminus at Caribou Point – which the mill says has deep waters to make it more ideal for dilution. The local fishermen and the Friends of Northumberland Strait say that the pipe is a threat to their livelihood and the environment. In October, fishermen blocked the mill’s survey work of the strait using boat barricades, which lasted until an injunction was granted last month.
Jill Graham-Scalan, president of the Friends of Northumberland Strait, tells The News that in December 2017, Northern Pulp had promised to involve the public in its study of the strait ahead of the environmental assessment. Kathy Cloutier, the spokesperson for Northern Pulp’s parent company Paper Excellence, says that because the mill was not granted access to the strait, it now does not have enough time to pull the information together for the assessement, which is due to the province on January 30.
Read The News‘s full story here.