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Research professor says Northern Pulp effluent is ‘not toxic’


December 10, 2019
By Kristina Urquhart

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A research professor and marine ecologist at Nova Scotia’s St. Francis Xavier University has published an article arguing that Northern Pulp’s effluent is not toxic.

The opinion piece  – which serves as a counterpoint to concerns raised by local fishermen about Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment facility and its potential impact on the environment – was published in The Telegram on Dec. 7.

“If we could guarantee that future Northern Pulp effluent is treated to the same level as it is at present, there is considerable evidence that it could be released via the proposed pipeline/diffuser system with no significant impact on commercial fisheries, or on the receiving coastal ecosystem,” writes Jim Williams, who has been conducting research in the Northumberland Strait for more than 20 years.

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The mill proposes that the strait should be the terminus for a new drainage pipe that would deliver treated effluent into the water. Northern Pulp has been ordered by the province to cease using its current pipe by January 31, 2020.

In his article, Williams examines effluent toxicity and fish and lobster sampling, and proposes suggestions for a new framework that would allow the pulp and paper mill and fisheries industry to coexist in the region.

Read it at The Telegram.