One of the world’s cleanest, and most environmentally and socially advanced mills

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Paper Excellence is proposing a complete transformation of Northern Pulp. One that would transform the Mill into a best-in-class operation and one of the world’s cleanest, and most environmentally and socially advanced mills. We are prepared to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to create a clean and sustainable mill.

Tomorrow's Mill

  • Clean air and water
  • No odour
  • Reduced water use
  • No overland pipe
  • No visible plumes above the mill
  • Sustainable and ecological forestry
  • Public environmental reporting
  • Increased community engagement

Proposed Transformation

The proposed transformation has been developed to address community issues and concerns while using Best Available Technology to transform the mill into a best-in-class operation. In some cases, Northern Pulp is proposing to install first-of-its-kind technology in Canada.

Key aspects of the transformation include:

  • A public dashboard on the Northern Pulp website to display live environmental data, such as air and wastewater quality and water use, so the public can view and monitor our performance and hold us accountable.
  • Oxygen delignification to reduce bleaching chemical use.
  • Best new primary and secondary treatment systems to remove solids, organics, and colour.
  • New tertiary treatment system (rotating disc filters) to ensure the highest quality water release and colour removal. The continuously operating tertiary treatment will be the first of its kind in Canada.
  • Converting the recovery boiler to a low-odor configuration.
  • A new wet electrostatic precipitator to remove fine particles from being released into the air.
  • Implement the Lahey Ecological Forestry Report recommendations on Northern Pulp private lands and crown allocation.

Learn more about each aspect of the transformation in the column to the right.

Paper Excellence is proposing a complete transformation of Northern Pulp. One that would transform the Mill into a best-in-class operation and one of the world’s cleanest, and most environmentally and socially advanced mills. We are prepared to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to create a clean and sustainable mill.

Tomorrow's Mill

  • Clean air and water
  • No odour
  • Reduced water use
  • No overland pipe
  • No visible plumes above the mill
  • Sustainable and ecological forestry
  • Public environmental reporting
  • Increased community engagement

Proposed Transformation

The proposed transformation has been developed to address community issues and concerns while using Best Available Technology to transform the mill into a best-in-class operation. In some cases, Northern Pulp is proposing to install first-of-its-kind technology in Canada.

Key aspects of the transformation include:

  • A public dashboard on the Northern Pulp website to display live environmental data, such as air and wastewater quality and water use, so the public can view and monitor our performance and hold us accountable.
  • Oxygen delignification to reduce bleaching chemical use.
  • Best new primary and secondary treatment systems to remove solids, organics, and colour.
  • New tertiary treatment system (rotating disc filters) to ensure the highest quality water release and colour removal. The continuously operating tertiary treatment will be the first of its kind in Canada.
  • Converting the recovery boiler to a low-odor configuration.
  • A new wet electrostatic precipitator to remove fine particles from being released into the air.
  • Implement the Lahey Ecological Forestry Report recommendations on Northern Pulp private lands and crown allocation.

Learn more about each aspect of the transformation in the column to the right.

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    The growing of seedlings for replanting is variably reported by Northern Pulp to be 5.5 - 6 million annually before hibernation and now in future. Northern Pulp's plan is to increase capacity and production but not seedling production for reforestation. Please help me understand why a more robust target isn't being set for the seedlings to offset the increased tree harvesting. Thank you

    Beahoness asked almost 3 years ago

    Northern Pulp’s nursery facility in Debert has been the largest producing nursery in Nova Scotia for many years. These nurseries supply tree seedlings for use only in Nova Scotia. We are looking at increases in seedling production in the future. This will be determined through further engagement with the forestry sector and woodlot owners. In addition to planting seedlings, we are very fortunate in Nova Scotia as our forests naturally regenerate at very high rate.

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    Will you explain how this plan is different from the last plan? The greenies are walking away with the message that your plan failed the last time and this plan is redundant. Apparently there isn't enough flushing, according to the greens. What's what?

    MoShow asked over 1 year ago

    There are significant differences in the new proposal compared to previous operations which are understood to support the release of effluent adjacent to the mill site. These differences are related to the proposed transformation using of significantly less water than previous operations, implementing tertiary treatment, and an increased harbour water flow. 

    When previously operating, the Mill used approximately 70,000 – 85,000 m3 of water from Middle River per day. Following the kraft pulping process, the wastewater was released to Boat Harbour then into the Northumberland Strait, bypassing Pictou Harbour. This resulted in Pictou Harbour having lower water flow going into Northumberland Strait than it does today. Detailed marine study confirmed that under previous operating conditions Pictou Harbour would not be suitable for effluent release.

    The proposed transformation will see the Mill intake approximately 45,000 m3 of water from Middle River per day, a 45% decrease in water use compared to previous operations. Following tertiary treatment, the treated wastewater will be released adjacent to Mill site, instead of bypassing Pictou Harbour, as was the case with previous operations.

    Preliminary understanding is that the decrease in water use, the enhanced treatment of wastewater, and an increased water flow from Pictou Harbour through to Northumberland Strait, will support the proposed concept.

    Detailed marine studies and modeling will be conducted to determine the environmental capacity and suitability of the Pictou Harbour, and inform the effluent release point.

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    Has the pollution in Boat Harbour been cleaned up?

    Skarferoo asked over 2 years ago

    Northern Pulp and Nova Scotia Lands have agreed that Nova Scotia Lands will develop, manage, and oversee a single project plan to remove all sludge material from the Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility (BH-ETF) aeration stabilization basins (ASB). The goal of the cleanup is to return Boat Harbour to its original state as a tidal estuary.

     The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is undertaking a technical review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and associated EIS Summary for the proposed Boat Harbour Remediation Project. Nova Scotia Lands cannot begin the remediation of Boat Harbour until it receives approval from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

     Learn more about the Boat Harbour Remediation Project at https://novascotia.ca/boatharbour/.

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    What security will the new Mill provide in order to ensure that the Province has funds to clean the Harbour if necessary after the Mill closes?

    Skarferoo asked over 2 years ago

    Northern Pulp and Nova Scotia Lands have agreed that Nova Scotia Lands will develop, manage, and oversee a single project plan to remove all sludge material from the Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility (BH-ETF) aeration stabilization basins (ASB).

    Northern Pulp is responsible for the financial cost of removing the material accumulated in the ASB since the mill assumed responsibility for the BH-ETF in 1995. Once the project plan is costed, finalized, and approved, Northern Pulp and Nova Scotia Lands will establish an agreement including financial terms and obligations.

    Northern Pulp is currently protected under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) so it can restructure its business and financial affairs in hopes of restarting a transformed operation. The Province of Nova Scotia is a secured creditor in this process.

    Learn more about the Boat Harbour Remediation Project at https://novascotia.ca/boatharbour/.

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    In your previous EA it was said that, that system was world class, best technology available and now in just 18 months you are telling us this new plan is the best. Will there be an even better one in another 18 Months?

    FriendsOfNewNP asked over 2 years ago

    As part of our proposed transformation, we are committed to implementing best available technology for a bleached kraft pulp mill to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. The previous effluent treatment facility proposals were focused only on replacing Boat Harbour to meet the expedited closure timeline. As a result of community input over the past few years, it is clear to Paper Excellence that tomorrow's mill operations and processes—from community engagement and transparency to forestry practices and addressing odour, air, and water emissions—must be better than the Mill of yesterday. Northern Pulp is proposing to transform the operation of the pulp mill into a best-in-class operation and one of the world's cleanest, most environmentally focused, and community-based mills.

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    Why isn’t Northern Pulp using the wastewater treatment plant next door at Canso Chemicals?

    FriendsOfNewNP asked over 2 years ago

    The treatment system for runoff at Canso Chemicals is a small system that does not have the capacity to treat the runoff from the Northern Pulp site.

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    Is the mill concerned about mixing their treated effluent with human waste effluent that goes into the harbour. This could contaminate the mill waste when environmental effects monitoring is done.

    Jack asked over 2 years ago

    A full and complete environmental review of Pictou Harbour will be done during the marine studies conducted during the environmental assessment. This will establish the baselines as they currently exist and allow for complete assessments as time moves forward.

    There are three municipal waste inputs to Pictou Harbour as per previous modelling with no negative interaction between human waste and treated effluent being anticipated.

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    The questions l have is what other company is willing to spend that amont of money in Nova Scotia let a lone in Pictou County? And what other industry's are knocking at our door to locate here in Nova Scotia that pay a decent wage?

    Bigd asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. We are proposing to transform the Mill into a best-in-class operation and one of the world's cleanest, most environmentally focused, and community-based mills. Northern Pulp has been a significant economic contributor throughout Nova Scotia and many parts of Atlantic Canada with more than 1,375 companies supporting Mill operations, including forestry, trucking, and shipping, and has contributed more than $135 million annually in GDP lift. We are committed to doing things differently and look forward to being an economic driver in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and Atlantic Canada with a transformed Mill.

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    So if there is a heavy rain fall and the storm drains still go into the sewer system does it get held back for treatment or does raw waste water still go to the harbour?

    FriendsOfNewNP asked over 2 years ago

    The wastewater flows to our treatment center will be held to a constant range. Flow outside the range will be diverted to the spill basin and then brought back into the treatment system after the rainfalls have stopped. There will be no flow of raw wastewater to the receiving water at any time.

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    Will the new northern pulp only process hemp and /or have no risk of polluting nearby waterways?

    FriendsOfNewNP asked over 2 years ago

    The new Northern Pulp will not process hemp as it is not an economically viable business model for a facility of our size. The global hemp market is approximately 120,000 tonnes per year with few facilities having capacity over 5,000 tonnes per year. The hemp requirements for a facility of our size would be approximately 400,000 tonnes per year. 

    With an approximate yield of between 1 and 7 tonne per acre, approximately 60,000 and up to 400,000 acres of forest would need to be replaced with hemp fields. Additionally, all the hemp would have to be harvested in August of each year and stored.

    A wastewater treatment system would still be required for processing hemp. The small hemp operations generally export their waste to an offsite treatment center.

Page last updated: 12 Oct 2023, 04:31 PM