Nova Scotia pulp mill expected to miss 2020 deadline to close Boat Harbour

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

A controversial pulp mill in northern Nova Scotia is facing delays with its new wastewater system, making it likely to miss the provincial deadline of January 2020 to stop using a polluted lagoon.

The Northern Pulp mill has been sending untreated effluent to a First Nation reserve for more than half a century, something the province’s former environment minister called one of the worst cases of environmental racism in Canada.

READ MORE: Northern Pulp mill confirms effluent leak near Pictou Landing

Under provincial legislation, the kraft pulp mill has less than 15 months to overhaul how it processes wastewater.

Kathy Cloutier, a spokeswoman for Paper Excellence Canada, which owns the Abercrombie Point mill, says the setback is due to a delay with a pipeline.

WATCH: Blockade of Northern Pulp Mill continues

Click to play video: 'Blockade of Northern Pulp Mill continues' Blockade of Northern Pulp Mill continues
Blockade of Northern Pulp Mill continues – Nov 6, 2018

She says the new wastewater treatment facility will meet the deadline, but that a new outfall discharge pipe will take longer.

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Despite the delays, Cloutier says once the new treatment plant is operational, untreated effluent will no longer leave the mill.

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