ABERCROMBIE, NS – Northern Pulp Nova Scotia (Northern Pulp) has requested Nova Scotia Environment issue a timely, well-defined, and outcome-based Environmental Assessment process for its proposed Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) modernization. Northern Pulp is committed to operating in Nova Scotia in an environmentally sustainable manner and contributing to the much-needed economic benefits of a healthy and prosperous community and forestry sector. “We want to continue to invest and operate in Nova Scotia and are committed to working closer with local governments and residents to coexist like the other 89 pulp and paper mills do in their communities across Canada,” said Graham Kissack, Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety and Communications, Paper Excellence Canada, the owner of Northern Pulp. “A timely, well-defined, and outcome-based Environmental Assessment process is the first step.” Northern Pulp’s request includes an 18-24-month timeline, an expert independent panel for objective review, and specific environmental standards to be achieved. Specifically, the company is requesting the following Environmental Assessment Report processes and guidelines be implemented by Nova Scotia Environment for the proposed ETF:
- The Minister of Environment refer the Environmental Assessment to a provincially led Environmental Assessment Review Panel consisting of individuals with experience in and understanding of the environmental impacts of pulp and paper mill operations in Canada and Canada’s Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER). An Environmental Assessment Review Panel is one of the most comprehensive Environmental Assessment processes available.
- The scope of the Environmental Assessment is limited to the proposed ETF as a modification of an existing facility as outlined in the chosen Class I process. The Environmental Assessment is not for a new mill. Restricting the Environmental Assessment to this ETF modification aligns with how a new ETF at the 89 other pulp and paper mills operating throughout Canada would be managed.
- The pre-hibernation operating conditions and ambient environmental data are used as baseline information to compare and evaluate the modernized ETF. Northern Pulp is not currently able to operate until a new ETF is in place, therefore gathering data of an existing operational facility is not possible. Significant scientific research and environmental data was gathered prior to the facility’s hibernation and should be acceptable to providing the necessary baselines.
- The Terms of Reference clearly define the Environmental Assessment guidelines, including the fundamental elements of the physical, biological or socio-economic environment, known as valued environmental components (VECs), to be assessed, the accepted assessment methodologies, and the adverse effects and significant environmental effects to be considered for each VEC.
- The Environmental Assessment factors in and accepts the wealth of existing information from the original Environmental Assessment and subsequent Focus Report for the modernized ETF, monitoring data compiled as part of the decades of Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM), required as part of Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations, and third-party studies of our operations and the receiving environment. Acceptance of this research and data will assist in completing any additional research and data-gathering, along with the panel review, in 18-24 months. Since acquiring Northern Pulp in 2011, Paper Excellence has supported the closure of Boat Harbour. Now the opportunity is to focus solely on a modernized ETF, an environmental improvement to the existing Northern Pulp operations. The modernization and restart of Northern Pulp would re-establish more than 300 well-paying direct jobs in Pictou County and more than 2,500 forestry sector jobs throughout the province.