Paper Excellence reviewing EA Terms of Reference for modernized effluent treatment facility at Northern Pulp

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Pipeline closed and Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility

no longer in use as part of mill hibernation plan

ABERCOMBIE  — Paper Excellence Canada is reviewing the final Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference released Tuesday by Nova Scotia Environment for a proposed effluent treatment facility (ETF) modernization at Northern Pulp Nova Scotia (Northern Pulp), an environmental improvement to existing operations at the kraft pulp mill.

“We will take the necessary time to thoroughly review, understand, and seek clarity from Nova Scotia Environment where needed, and determine if the terms of reference provide a workable path forward,” said Graham Kissack, vice president of Environment, Health and Safety at Paper Excellence Canada.

Since January, Northern Pulp has been working on a safe and environmentally sound hibernation of the mill. Operation of the power boiler continued with limited effluent discharge into the Boat Harbour ETF to protect pipes from freezing and maintain adequate warmth in the treatment process during colder months. The company shutdown the power boiler on April 15 and stopped discharging effluent into Boat Harbour on April 26.

As of May 1, fewer than 30 employees will remain on-site at the mill to continue clean-up of the woodyard, monitor and maintain the mill site and arrange for the removal of sludge from Boat Harbour. An additional 16 employees will continue to work in Northern Pulp’s woodland operations, making harvest blocks available to sawmills, and at the company’s nursery in Debert, readying 4.6 million trees for Nova Scotia contractors to plant this year.

The modernization and restart of Northern Pulp would re-establish more than 300 direct jobs in Pictou County and more than 2,500 forestry sector jobs throughout the province.

“This document provides a roadmap for the company to follow as it works to submit an environmental assessment report,” said Environment Minister Gordon Wilson. “Once that report has been submitted, I am open to considering whether an environmental assessment panel should be appointed.”

Northern Pulp now has up to two years to submit the report on its proposed new effluent treatment plant.

The terms of reference are available at https://novascotia.ca/nse/ea/Replacement_Effluent_Treatment_Facility_Project/