Fishermen’s Association question “dilution as the solution” for effluent from Pictou pulp mill

What are the most efficient pulp effluent treatment systems now in existence? Surely the best should be the standard for the Pictou mill.

The diffuser would be about here
Click on image to enlarge (from Google Earth)
Fishers are concerned about impacts on lobster, crab, scallop, herring, and mackerel fisheries

UPADE Nov 30, 2017: Westville urges caution to Northern Pulp
in The News Nov. 29, 2017

UPDATE Nov 29, 2017: Fishermen bring concerns to county council about Northern Pulp proposal in The News Nov. 28, 2017

UPDATE Nov 22, 2017: Effluent dump in Northumberland Strait of ‘dire concern,’ says P.E.I. Fisheries minister (The Guardian, Nov 21, 2017)
Dirty Dealing: Northern Pulp Mill and the province are set to roll the dice with Boat Harbour’s replacement, but a cleaner alternative exists by Linda Pannozzo in the Halifax Examiner, Nov 22, 2017. Comprehensive. (No longer behind a paywall.)


Procrastination is a word that might be applied Northern Pulp and the Province’s effort to meet the January 2020 commitment to have a new pulp effluent treatment system in place so that the Boat Harbour pulp mill effluent system can finally be closed.

Remarkably, the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association discovered that while there is plan to place a diffuser system carrying effluent from a new treatment facility about 10 kilometres out in the Northumberland Strait from Pictou, the mill has not even initiated the process for an EA (Environmental Assessment).

View Pulp mill’s wastewater treatment design worries fishermen’s group by Francis Campbell, Chronicle Herald Nov 17, 2017.

The fishers’ are concerned about impacts on lobster, crab, scallop, herring, and mackerel fisheries and more:

“It’s not just the fishery,” Baird said. “There are a couple of parks there … and they are supposed to be protected. The effluent shouldn’t be allowed to be there. People swim there. The effluent, once it goes there, it’s not going to leave. It will backfill into Pictou Harbour as well when we get east winds. It’s going to ruin Pictou Harbour, too…Around the pipe, it will kill everything,” Baird said. “Up in Boat Harbour, there is nothing alive in that harbour… And if lobster caught further away from the discharge area are tainted, Baird said sales of bad product could wipe the whole industry out.”

The Fishermens Association is calling for “the new system to be totally contained on land, recycling the waste water through the closed-looped system for re-use in the pulp-making process”, but Kathy Cloutier, the mill’s communications director told the Chronicle Hearld “that a closed-loop, zero-effluent treatment system is not an option.”

A little literature research reveals that there have been a lot of technical developments in the treatment of pulp mill wastes. We need many more details on the Northern Pulp investigations into possible optios than provided by their statement “Northern Pulp Nova Scotia had our consultants investigate closed-loop systems and they concluded that a zero effluent bleached Kraft mill does not exist at this time and the concept is not seen as being technically nor economically achievable in the foreseeable future.”

What are the most efficient systems now in existence? Surely that should be the minimum standard for the Pictou mill.

January 2020 is barely 26 months away.

View also

Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest in Nova Scotia
Post Nov 13, 2017

Details of Boat Harbour waste water plant murky
Chronicle Herald, Sep 6, 2017

An Act Respecting the Cessation of the Use of the Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility for the Reception and Treatment of Effluent from the Northern Pulp Mill
Passed May 5, 2015

ˈnim bē – Pictou Mill
YouTube video by One Not So Bored Housewife, Sep 24, 2017 (Excerpt) “A documentary. A story about environmental activists who never meant to become activists, and the problems they’re fighting in Nova Scotia. Pictou was my first stop on a journey around Nova Scotia meeting the folks who are fighting for the environment and their communities.

shopify analytics ecommerce

This entry was posted in Conservation, Pulp & Paper. Bookmark the permalink.