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Fisheries groups oppose Nova Scotia mill’s proposed effluent treatment plant

The Pictou mill has been told by the province to replace its current effluent treatment plant by 2020. Northern Pulp Corporation

A group of Maritime fisheries groups says it is opposed to plans by a kraft pulp mill in Nova Scotia to pump treated waste into the Northumberland Strait, saying the effluent could harm marine life.

The group, which includes the Pictou Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia, says the proposal from Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. could see the release of up to 90 million litres of effluent per day into the strait, posing a threat to fish species and protected areas along the coastline.

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The other members of the group include the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, the Maritime Fishermen’s Union, the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association and the New Brunswick Fisheries Association.

They say other options should be explored, such as a land-based effluent treatment facility.

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Under provincial legislation, Northern Pulp has until 2020 to replace its current effluent treatment plant in Boat Harbour near Pictou – a deadline the company has said will be tough to meet.

The mill in Abercrombie, N.S., announced plans for a new treatment plant in December and is to submit an environmental assessment to Nova Scotia’s Environment Department in July.

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According to the company’s plan, waste would be treated at a new facility near the mill using a system that would meet all federal environmental standards.

The effluent would be carried by polyethylene pipe across Pictou Harbour and then released through six pipes into the strait.

Northern Pulp did not immediately return a request for comment.

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