Canadian Manufacturing

N.S. pulp mill spews excessive pollution for third consecutive year

Residents and a conservative MPP say the province is being too secretive about emission levels


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HALIFAX—Residents of a Nova Scotia community who are learning second-hand about excessive air pollution from a nearby pulp mill say the province is being too secretive about emission levels.

Matt Gunning, a volunteer with the community group Clean the Mill, says people living across the harbour from the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Inc. mill in Pictou should be able to monitor pollution levels on the provincial Environment Department’s website.

A local member of the legislature said Sept. 19 she received information from the company that the power boiler at the plant had particulate emissions of 224 milligrams per reference cubic metres, while the permit for the equipment allows for only 150 milligrams.

Karla MacFarlane, the Tory member of the legislature for Pictou West, says her office continues to receive complaints almost daily about the emissions.

She says the environment minister must ensure the figures are made public as soon as they are made available to help the public find ways to avoid harmful emissions.

Company spokeswoman Kathy Cloutier says her company is disappointed with the results for its power boiler, and is investigating.

It’s the third year running that emissions from the power boiler have gone over limits set down by the Environment Department.

In August 2014, the mill received a legally-binding order to get its air quality emissions in line or face closure.

The company responded by saying the cost of such a closure to fix emissions would cause the operation to shut down permanently, resulting in a major loss of jobs.


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