HALIFAX, 29 March, 2019 – The Environment Minister of Nova Scotia, Margaret Miller, announced today that she would require Northern Pulp to prepare and submit a focus report before she makes a decision on whether to approve plans to allow effluent from the mill to be released into the Northumberland Strait. The company will have until April 2020 to submit the report. After its submission and a period of public comment, the Minister will decide whether to approve the project or whether to require a full environmental assessment before making the decision.
Ecojustice has called for a full and fair assessment of Northern Pulp’s plans, which threatens the rich marine life of the Northumberland Strait, as well as the livelihoods of communities that rely on fishing and tourism in the region.
James Gunvaldsen Klaassen, Ecojustice lawyer, said:
“Ecojustice is supportive of Minister Miller’s decision to require more information before deciding whether Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent treatment facility can proceed. As Ecojustice and Friends of the Northumberland Strait pointed out in our submission during the public comment period, Northern Pulp’s environmental assessment submission lacked critical information – basic details, such as the composition of the effluent, were missing. The Minister has indicated that a focus report will be required to provide information that is currently missing, and we hope that all information gaps will be filled such that a complete package can be put before the Minister.
“The new timeline for approval of the project will give more time for the public to assess the large amount of scientific documentation and review the data in Northern Pulp’s EA submission.
“The potential impact of Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipe could be devastating on the marine environment and the local economy, so we are encouraged by Minister Miller’s decision to proceed cautiously and gather all necessary information before a decision is made in 2020.”
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