HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Northern Pulp mill says it needs a one-year extension to the province’s legislated deadline to close its contentious Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility.
It has submitted an environmental assessment application to the province for its proposed treatment project, including a pipe that would pump millions of litres of treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait.
Most significantly, at a news conference today in Halifax, the company said more time is needed to complete preparations – and suggested it will have to shut down the mill if it doesn’t get it.
Premier Stephen McNeil has consistently said his government has no intention of extending the deadline contained in the Boat Harbour Act, which was passed in 2015.
Company officials say design and engineering work for the effluent treatment facility has been completed, adding that its application to the Environment Department is the result of 28 studies.
The company has said the treated effluent it plans to pump into the Strait will meet federal regulations for emissions, but opponents say there’s a lack of scientific evidence regarding how the waste will affect the long-term health of the lucrative lobster and crab fisheries.
The heavily polluted treatment lagoon that is to be replaced sits on the edge of the Pictou Landing First Nation, which plans today to mark the beginning of an official one-year countdown.