Antigonish Community Transit

Northern Pulp Disappointed with Ministerial Order

A release from Northern Pulp states the company is disappointed with the Ministerial Order issued by Nova Scotia Environment on May 14 regarding for management of the Northern Pulp site during its hibernation.

The mill stated they worked cooperatively with Nova Scotia Environment on the safe and environmentally sound hibernation of the facility since ceasing operation in January but the new ministerial order imposes terms and conditions that are impractical and show a lack of understanding of the pulp and paper industry and effluent treatment facilities. The mill adds the new order imposes obligations on Northern Pulp for which it is not responsible and has not agreed to accept.

The release goes on to state the new order prevents the mill from discharging even fresh water from the facility to the effluent treatment facility and that the absence of water flow will likely contribute to lower water levels and septic conditions causing odour impacting neighbouring communities including the Pictou Landing First Nation.

The new order, states the company, also means Northern Pulp has to meet compliance limits on the water discharges from Boat Harbour into Northumberland Strait. With the mill not operating, the vast majority of water entering Boat Harbour and subsequently being discharged is unrelated to the mill.

Paper Excellence, the parent company of the mill, and Northern pulp say they are continuing to review the Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference for the proposed effluent treatment facility modernization. They stated the modernization and restart of the mill would re-establish more than 300 direct mill jobs in Pictou County and more than 2,500 forestry sector jobs throughout the province.