Northern Pulp seeks Ministerial Review and files for Judicial Review of Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference

Today, April 12, 2022, Northern Pulp Nova Scotia (Northern Pulp) requested Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change (NSECC) review the Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference issued by NSECC on March 14, 2022, for the proposed mill transformation and effluent treatment project.

Also today, the company made an application for a Judicial Review of the Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Northern Pulp’s request for Judicial Review is based on the Terms of Reference being unreasonable in several areas, including failing to set out definitive limits, standards, and regulations that must be met.

“Before we retain experts, conduct scientific studies, and prepare a thorough EA, we are taking every available step through the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and directly with the Minister to review and revise the Terms of Reference, so they are realistic, clear and better-defined,” said Sasha Irving, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Paper Excellence Canada. “We have been meeting with residents and forestry sector stakeholders throughout Nova Scotia and the need for a transformed mill in the region is evident. We want to operate a transformed mill in Nova Scotia, but this can only be accomplished with reasonable and clear Environmental Assessment Terms of Reference.”

In its Ministerial Appeal, Northern Pulp requests the Hon. Tim Halman, Minister of NSECC, remove or revise several aspects of the Terms of Reference to ensure they contain conditions that are both achievable and protective of the environment, are not vague or uncertain, and are realistic and otherwise reasonable.

“The existing Terms of Reference ignored the overwhelming and reasonable requests from Nova Scotians for clear standards and independent experts. It is in everyone’s best interest for the Final Terms of Reference to have standards and to be led independent experts,’” said Irving. “These changes are necessary to ensure the public has confidence in the EA process and the final EA decision.”

Throughout the Ministerial Appeal and Judicial Review, Northern Pulp will continue to advance necessary, long-term environmental studies that are important aspects of a thorough Environmental Assessment Report.

Northern Pulp plans to transform the mill into a best-in-class operation and one of the world's cleanest, most environmentally focused mills.

A transformed Northern Pulp mill will reinstate well-paying rural jobs and support the local and provincial forestry sector. It will also provide a market for pulp grade wood and sawmill residuals essential to support the full implementation of sustainable, ecological forestry practices in Nova Scotia as envisioned in the Lahey Report.

The more than $350 million investment in the Mill Transformation is expected to provide 600 construction jobs for two years. Significant longer-term benefits to the Province of Nova Scotia will include 330 direct and 2,679 indirect jobs, contribute $128 million in employment income, support 1,379 supplier companies including 943 in Nova Scotia, and generate $279 million in annual spending, most within Nova Scotia.

View Northern Pulp's request for Ministerial Review here and the notice for Judicial Review here.

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