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I’ve recently been talking to people about their concerns related to the Northern Pulp and Paper facilities plan to pipe treated effluent into the middle of the Northumberland Strait.
Just a quick primer — Northern Pulp uses a chemical bleach process to break down the cellulose components of wood to create pulp. This is an environmentally toxic method, which creates four times the amount waste water with an increased amount of toxic contaminants compared to the same process found in a similar processing plant in Cape Breton. Up to this point, the effluent has been released into Boat Harbour, N.S. This process lacks proper environmental reviews and the political will to review this process and its effect on local populations. The result has been an increased level of carcinogenic toxins in a closed environment, with tragic results.
So, the Province of Nova Scotia and Northern Pulp have decided to address the issue. They are going to pipe the effluent further into the Northumberland Strait. This allows them to close their eyes to the toxicity of the process, pass the buck on the effects, and unload their issue onto the Prince Edward Island fisheries and coast line.
As an engineer, this infuriates me. There are solutions to effluent issues readily available to these industries. But the Northern Pulp business plan doesn't include solving the problem, as their profit lies in dumping it into our waters.
Where is the political will to tell this corporation to do the right thing? Where is the political will to prevent one province from dumping its commercial waste on another province? Where is the leadership? Because leaders have to lead.