Company values production over people

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

As a resident of Pictou County I feel compelled to write regarding Northern Pulp’s inability or unwillingness to undertake the necessary upgrading required to bring their operation into compliance with the generous conditions of their Industrial Approval.

Under their latest industrial approval Northern Pulp has failed five stack tests including March 2015 at 155mg/rm3, September 2015 at 190mg/rm3, June 2016 at 164mg/rm3, December 2016 at 157mg/rm3 and the latest test results available for the June 2017 test at 224/mg rm3. Stack test results are kept secret from the community and this information was accessed by way of application through the Freedom of Information process.

- Advertisement -

The secrecy surrounding test results is very disturbing and more than suggests Northern Pulp has something to hide. The stack test results clearly show a community under attack by a corporation that values production milestones over complying with the conditions set out in the industrial approval.

The community has no representation, no body to express concerns or pose questions, as we do not have a community liaison committee which is also a condition of their industrial approval.

It is evident Northern Pulp faces no consequences for their continuing failure to comply with the conditions of their industrial approval. Over the past eight years the community has suffered due to lack of enforcement by the Department of Environment and the Province of Nova Scotia.

Due to the closure of Boat Harbour scheduled for January 2020, Northern Pulp is looking for support to build a new effluent treatment facility. Northern Pulp is proposing to dump this waste at the mouth of Pictou Harbour into the Northumberland Strait. A letter dated October 17, 2017 to the premier from the mayor and council for the Town of New Glasgow expressing support states: “Northern Pulp provides a significant impact to the economy of Pictou County as well as the Province as a whole so it is imperative that everyone work to support the company’s long-term future in our region with the construction of a new effluent treatment facility on their existing production site. The Town further recognizes the importance of ensuring the company meets and exceeds all environmental aspects of their industrial approval.”

The New Glasgow mayor and council are supporting the long-term future of Northern Pulp who has shown total disregard to complying with the conditions of their industrial approval for the past eight years. What would make them think Northern Pulp would comply with any conditions regarding the discharge of toxic effluent into the Northumberland Strait?

D. Wallis
Pictou