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Fishing groups say concerns validated by missing data in Northern Pulp assessment


The Northern Pulp mill is seen in Abercrombie Point in 2014, with the Town of Pictou in the background. - File
The Northern Pulp mill is seen in Abercrombie Point in 2014, with the Town of Pictou in the background. - Christian Laforce

A working group of Maritime fishermen says a number of concerns regarding Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipe have been validated in a report released by the province of Nova Scotia.

The fishing groups from P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Pictou Landing First Nation are maintaining a stance of “no pipe” in the Northumberland Strait and “no extension” to the Boat Harbour closure date following the April 23 release of a focus report – terms of reference by the province of Nova Scotia.

The group said, in the nine-page document, provincial scientists point out excessive data gaps in numerous sections of an environmental assessment completed for the effluent pipe.

The group said some of that missing data is central to understand any negative effects on the ecosystem and that the group had previously pointed out some of those gaps in early meeting with Northern Pulp.

The intervention of the federal government in the review process and consideration of other technical options for the effluent are still being sought by the working group.

The group said a lack of baseline data and the mill’s refusal to look at other technical options severely impacts the ability for the mill and fishery to “work out a go forward solution that will work for both industries.”

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