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Premier shares Boat Harbour closure plans

Community Online First

HALIFAX – Premier Stephen McNeil reconfirmed Boat Harbour will officially close on January 31.

However, he shared in a teleconference on Tuesday how the effluent pipe leading from Northern Pulp to the treatment facility will be flushed and cleaned so that it can be disconnected and removed by the end of April.

“There will be no new effluent going into Boat Harbour as of January 31,” he said, while allowing for the decommissioning period for several months after that. “We will meet the terms of the Boat Harbour Act. It will allow us to do a controlled shutdown. No future government will be able to connect it.”

He explained that no work could start to decommission the pipe until after January 31.

McNeil likened the process to draining pipes when water is turned off for the winter at cottages.

Water will be driven through the pulp mill’s boiler to flush and clean the pipe that leads to Boat Harbour.

“There will be no new effluent,” he said. “Anything coming out of the boiler will be flushed out. It will allow us to disconnect it quicker.”

Just where the outflow will be sent remains uncertain.

“They’re looking for a site to dispose it,” McNeil said.

He said he has asked for a plan from Northern Pulp on how to address leachate and capping of manhole covers at the mill that take in runoff water that has been flowing into Boat Harbour.