HEALTHY FORESTS NEED A MILL

ABOUT US

We are Nova Scotians who care deeply about our province, our forests, and our communities. We are the 36,000 Nova Scotians who own small and large woodlots. We are 10,000 plus owners and workers of forestry businesses in Nova Scotia. We are the supporters of the forestry sector who supply them with goods and services. We are Nova Scotians who are proud of our heritage, our rural way of life and the sustainable use of our renewable natural resources embodied in forestry.

We work in the forests everyday. They sustain our families and we work hard to sustain them. Forests need to be nurtured to stay healthy.

We take care of our forests every single day. We practice ecological forestry, We look after our land. We grow trees. We tend to them as they grow and when they are mature, we harvest them and start the process all over again. Forestry is a renewable and sustainable sector. Forestry was local before local was cool and renewable before renewable was trendy. Forestry is one of Nova Scotia’s most durable and impactful sectors.

We have come together to support the transformation of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County.

Northern Pulp is prepared to transform its mill into one the cleanest in the world. We support them. Our forests and forestry need a central pulp mill otherwise the economics of ecological forestry would collapse.

The Friends of a New Northern Pulp welcome any Nova Scotian that supports the establishment of a clean, modernized Northern Pulp mill to join us. Our founding Steering Committee includes;

Robin Wilber, Elmsdale Lumber
Peter Spicer, Seven Gulches Forestry
Ryan Scott, Scott & Stewart Forestry
Andy MacGregor, MacGregor’s Industrial Group
Earle Miller, Woodlot Owner

Forest Products Produced from a Softwood Tree

WHY DO WE NEED A NEW PULP MILL?

Many people wonder if pulp mills are still needed. Activists will say that pulp mills are relics of a bygone era. They are dead wrong. Just look around your own home. Many of the products you use everyday and rely on are made with pulp. Tissues, toilet paper, newspapers, disposable diapers, writing paper, cardboard and even some of our food products are made with wood pulp.. So, the answer is YES. Nova Scotians use pulp products and Nova Scotia needs a pulp mill.  

Healthy forests and ecological forestry also need a pulp mill. Generally, a little over half (51%) of harvested trees end up at a pulp mill or lower grade product facility. Not all trees or not all parts of a tree are suitable for high value lumber. Having access to a pulp mill is the best economic value for some wood fibre. Without a local market for pulp grade wood (small diameter thinnings, sawmill wood chips, etc.), it is left on the forest floor and there is not enough revenue to pay for sustainable or ecological work on woodlots. If forests are ignored, they become over mature and susceptible to disease, infestations, forest fires and blowdowns. Leaving lower quality wood on the forest floor also makes tree planting, silviculture and other forestry management practices more difficult. The best and highest use of the forest resource is to achieve the most value of the resource at all stages. Pulp is an essential part of ecological forestry.

WHY DO WE SUPPORT A NEW NORTHERN PULP?

The Northern Pulp Mill is located in Pictou County in central Nova Scotia and easily accessible by our major roads. This is important because the cost of transporting bulky wood fibre requires a centrally located mill. There are pulp mills in Maine and New Brunswick, but trucking pulp grade wood there just isn’t viable. Ten years ago, Nova Scotia had three pulp mills -Liverpool, Port Hawkesbury, Pictou. 

Now just the Port Hawkesbury mill is operating and only at half its original capacity. This means all the pulp grade wood from central and western Nova Scotia doesn’t have an economic market so the critical revenue it provided to woodlot owners and sawmills is no longer there. Forestry can not be sustained, and ecological forestry can not happen without a centrally located pulp mill. 

The sector can not be sustained, and ecological forestry can not happen without a centrally located pulp mill.

WHAT IS NORTHERN PULP PROPOSING?

Paper Excellence, the owner of the Northern Pulp mill, is proposing to transform the Mill into one of the world’s cleanest modern mills. They will build a brand new Effluent Treatment System on site that includes Primary, Secondary and for the 1st time in Canada, a year-round Tertiary Treatment system to treat the effluent to the highest standard. The new mill will use less water, less chemicals, produce less carbon and have no odour in normal operating conditions. The transformation will cost over $350 million dollars.

The Mill has also committed to improving its place and relationships in the local community. The Mill has established an independent and a permanent community liaison committee and will provide public real time performance monitoring dashboard, independent 3rd party environmental auditing and a commitment to procure local supplies and workers while supporting the local community.

WHY SHOULD YOU SUPPORT THE NEW
NORTHERN PULP MILL?

Every Nova Scotian should care about the proposed transformation of Northern Pulp. Many of the Friends of Northern are already involved in forestry so they understand the importance of having a local market for pulp grade wood.

The effect of the Northern Pulp closure on their work, woodlot or business has been real and many haven’t survived.

The pandemic and resulting increase in lumber prices has sustained some in the sector but lumber prices are returning to normal and a pulp mill is needed to maintain and grow the workforce. Just like a farmer or fisher, foresters need a market for what they produce. 51% of the harvested wood ends up in a pulp mill. Northern Pulp paid a fair price for that pulp. The transformation will create a market for that pulp again and do so in a clean mill we can all be proud of.

Even if you aren’t directly involved in forestry, the sector impacts you and your community.

THINK ABOUT THESE FACTS

  • Nova Scotia’s land mass is 75% forested. 
  • Forests need to be nurtured to remain healthy.  
  • Local wood products are a natural and renewable resource that Nova Scotians have relied on for centuries.
  • Harvested wood is initially destined to either a sawmill or a pulp mill. Both types of mills are essential for a functioning forestry economy.
  • Most of the wood products consumers use are made with pulp. (Cardboards, tissues, paper, food additives,)
  • Although people think of lumber (2×4’s, plywood) as the core items from forests, lumber represents only about 1/3 of the volume of a harvested tree. 
  • Over half (51%) of all tree fiber ends up in a pulp mill. (Small diameter wood, sawmill wood chips)
  • Without a pulp market, much value is left on the forest floor as waste and a risk for fire and pest infestations.
  • Previously, all of that pulp wood was a valued product that added revenue for woodlot owners and sawmills when Northern Pulp was operating. Forestry contractors and secondary industries also benefited.  
  • Healthy forestry practices demand we use all of the resource and not waste anything. 
  • You wouldn’t grow pigs just for bacon or beef just for steaks or chicken just for breasts. Instead, there are markets for hamburger, roasts, wings, thighs, sausages, etc. This means the total resource is used, making it economical for all buyers and ethical for a responsible farmer. Pulp is an essential part of forestry.
  • The cost of transportation matters. NP is centrally located allowing wood product from all over the province to be purchased.  It’s simply not economical to truck pulp to mills in other places. Basically, there is an economic radius that makes sense to ship product. For the forestry activity in central and western NS there isn’t a place now to send pulp grade fiber.

A new Northern Pulp mill makes ecological
forestry possible and viable.

HOW DOES A PULP MILL IMPACT ECOLOGICAL FORESTRY AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAHEY REPORT?

Ecological forestry is the future of forestry in Nova Scotia. The government is implementing the policy on Crown land as part of the Lahey report recommendations for the sector. The Lahey Report provided a 3- prong plan for the Province to manage its Crown Land. Crown Land will be designated based on its best uses with approx. 33% designated as conservation lands to be permanently protected, 50% designated for multiple uses in an ecological matrix including light touch forestry and approximately 17% designated for high production forestry on land suitable to produce wood.

Ecological forestry means that forests are constantly worked on to ensure a variety of tree species and ages that support greater biodiversity are present. Every time a worker enters a forest to work, it costs money. Being able to sell the pulp grade wood that is often the by-product of that work pays for the ecological forestry. Who will pay for ecological forestry if there is no market? Government? Woodlot Owners? The simple truth is the important work of ecological forestry cannot happen without funding and will not happen without a market for the products produced. Why would any Nova Scotian want the forestry sector to be subsidized when we have a private sector solution available?

What can you do?

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info@friendsofnewnp.ca

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Friends of a New Northern Pulp

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87 Comments

  1. Here’s to the Northern Pulp mill getting back up and running soon!

    Reply
    • Hopefully this mill will get the support of the NS people .they are doing their due diligence and not asking the government for handouts .just a fair climate to do business..

      Reply
      • Forestry is a must here in Nova Scotia there are a lot of people and businesses that rely on Forestry and if our forests are managed properly they will provide for years to come .

        Reply
    • Reopening Northern Pulp would be a first baby step in realizing the full value of Nova Scotia’s forest products offerings. Pulp is an excellent use of a natural and renewable resource. Let’s get this mill running to 2020 standards and keep on working on even more Green Economy alternatives. It’s healthier for humans, the forest and the earth!

      Reply
  2. Nova Scotia needs high paying union jobs more than ever with all the promises the politicians are making now

    Reply
    • Happy to be become a friend!

      Reply
      • Time for industry to be brought back to Nova Scotia. NP never should have been shut down as it was complying with all environmental laws.

        Reply
    • As a previous forest technician working out of Oxford NS I was responsible for the early private forest land management program . Durning those 10 years we planted 5 000 000 trees on private wood lots . About 80 % was old farm fields. Those stands now ready for there first merchantable thinning . First merchantable thinning produce a high amount of pulp. With out those first thinning we will loose a complete rotation of saw logs . No saw logs no lumber. We need thar pulp market for our first thinning.

      Reply
    • Come on Nova Scotia. We need this for the tax revenue for our health care and education. Let’s make this happen

      Reply
  3. Much required for a healthy and sustainable resource

    Reply
  4. well done and good luck

    Reply
  5. I am a supporter of NP

    Reply
  6. Delighted to join. The forest industry has been lax in promoting its values, its importance to the economy and its positive contributions to the environment—especially to urbanites. The time in now, the need is urgent. We can win with hard work, solid financing and good communication.

    Reply
    • We need northern pulp

      Reply
  7. Excellent Information!

    Reply
    • We need northern pulp up and running

      Reply
  8. As a wood lot owner and farmer we need a balanced environment for a health future

    Reply
  9. Pictou County needs political leadership that supports the Mill! I continue to be disappointed with all three provincial candidates but your Pictou mayor is the most disappointing. He appears to have no idea about the long term economic and social consequences if that Mill is not restarted.

    Reply
  10. I worked at a pulp mill for many years at another site in Nova Scotia. Many years ago a new state of the art treatment plant was constructed and all effluent is discharged into the ocean that has a very large fishery in the same area. I am told that the area is very prosperous for shellfish. I think the same can be engineered and constructed for the Northern Pulp so that the industry and surrounding area can co exist.

    Reply
    • I live in Pictou, and I support the pulp mill. I am looking forward to the reopening.

      Reply
  11. Good to see you are so committed. It’s too bad the province doesn’t see the big picture other than politics.

    We still all need to be more proactive if we are going to keep this industry afloat

    Reply
  12. Great job on the website!

    Reply
  13. I support Northern Pulp reopening!!

    Reply
  14. Very happy to see some progress on this project. NS needs a large consumer of chips and biomass for the long term benefit of all forest products manufacturing in the region.

    Reply
  15. We must keep on pushing to educate everyone that Northern Pulp is a good news story for the environment AND the economy. To practice long term forestry we must have a market for low value wood…. Pulp

    Reply
  16. Nova Scotia needs industry like Northern Pulp above hospitality, above retail, above any other businesses because it sustains the economy with good stable jobs at the core, good sustainable jobs at the supply level, good sustainable jobs at the support level and that leads to much needed cash flow for groceries, automobiles, housing, utilities, recreation and so much more. Its a win win for everyone.
    I applaud the work and efforts this group have done and is doing with the foresight of what will build and our province and let Nova Scotia be great once again
    thank you

    Reply
    • The province needs Northern Pulp to reopen so we can started with the Lahey report recommendations for our Forest

      Reply
  17. Excellent website that promotes truth in the forest sector! The revitalized mill that Northern Pulp is proposing would put Pictou County, it’s residents, political leaders and business owners on the worldwide map for environmental stewardship and forward thinking leadership.

    Reply
  18. I am in full support of Northern Pulp reopening!

    Reply
  19. A big supporter of NP. The industry needs a strong voice in government but who is that? Do we have candidates running who will be that voice. I don’t think we can believe anything coming from the Rankin Liberals so it must be the Conservatives where we can get support.

    Reply
  20. Great Read
    Great Information.

    Reply
  21. I look forward to the mill getting up and running again in an environmentally friendly manner.

    Reply
  22. A truly sustainable provincial Forest Industry needs Northern Pulp operating; let’s get this done.

    Reply
  23. A pulp mill is probably one of the most efficient recycling plants a province can have in it inventory of industries in our province . a New modern pulp mill can consume the mountains of chips , bark , and saw dust that saw mills produce on a daily basis . The results of this consumption is pulp which is sold on the world markets and the end result is a variety of Paper products . We need to utilize the 35 to 40 % waste that is generated by the production of lumber produces . Utilization is the key word not waste The waste from a saw mill can be and should be utilized to 100 % . The utilization of waste produces creates and sustains countless other business which are all add to a much healthier economy . Whether it be wood waste or plastic waste products it all can be utilized for some other purpose , recycled . Recycling creates new
    products , jobs and ideas and can diversify our economy . We need base industries , manufacturing in our province ,

    Reply
  24. It is long over due that the people of Nova Scotia began to understand the contribution Forestry makes to our entire way of life.

    Reply
  25. I fully support the development of an environmentally friendly new Northern Pulp Mill. Good Luck.

    Reply
  26. Well done ! Wood industry is
    an important motor of the local
    economy.

    Reply
  27. Very nice to see the commitment and fantastic information

    Reply
    • It’s time to get this mill rebuilt to modern standards and into production. It is critical to implementing the Lahey report and to the long term health of Nova Scotia’s forests and its forestry industry.

      Reply
  28. I support Northern Pulp however, it must meet the ETS pollution and environmental standards of its waste water prior to being dumped in Pictou Harbor. Our Forestry is being devastated through lack of proper management and movement of the product in the forests. A major factor in this management is the existence and operation of an environmentally friendly Pulp Mill which benefits a wide sector of the population. Take the politics out of the decisions and go with the science around this newly renovated pulp mill.

    Reply
  29. Glad to be an advocate.

    Reply
    • I believe in science. The world continues to consume pulp and paper products (tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers, writing paper, etc.) The world market continues to use lumber. Fortunately, these products come from a sustainable resource (our forests). It is critical we encourage industry and the public to promote the use of best forestry practices to sustain our forests for generation to come.

      Northern Pulp has hired experts to evaluate, improve and design systems which minimize the impact to our environment. As a believer in science, I anticipate Northern Pulp will become a valuable, respected corporate Nova Scotia citizen.

      Reply
  30. I believe in sustainable forestry.

    Reply
  31. Looking forward to the mill to reopen, being in the electrical repair business for the pass 40 years.
    we have done a lot of motors, transformers and switchgear repairs. would be great to see it back on operation.

    Reply
  32. Nova Scotia needs NP

    Reply
  33. Very interesting and informative information.I support the re-opening of Northern Pulp!

    Reply
  34. We have supplied to Northern Pulp for as long as we can remember. The proposal is very interesting and is worth govn’t attention. We support the reopening of the mill!

    Reply
  35. Forestry has been our life.

    Please reopen the mill.

    Reply
  36. N.S. need NP

    Reply
  37. I support the re-opening of Northern Pulp.

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  38. With my woodlot being 55% fir grade pulp that means no market for 55% of my trees. We can not harvest without a mill.

    Reply
  39. I support the friends of the new northern pulp to help make a difference. As silviculture we need the pulp mill to keep going to help with poor quality wood from thinning and keep our forests sustainable.
    *Richard

    Reply
  40. A centrally located pulp mill, that makes an essential finished product is needed for a sustainable and economically viable pulpwood market. An economically viable pulpwood market is needed for active woodland management. Active woodland management is one of the best ways to store carbon and help mitigate climate change.

    Northern Pulp is the most progressive path forward for future forest management and carbon storage in Nova Scotia.

    Reply
  41. I fully support the reopening of Northern Pulp!

    Reply
  42. Re-opening the mill is an indispensable part of any realistic plan to have a sustainable, well-managed forestry industry in NS.
    And forestry is an indispensable part of our both our economy and healthy lifestyle.

    Reply
  43. In order to practice sustainable forestry, especially when attempting to restore land previously clearcut, one must cut the worst trees and leave the best. With no market for the worst trees, this becomes uneconomic. Very few are going to pay out of pocket and work for free to improve their woodlot. We need Northern Pulp.

    Reply
  44. This mill has been a linchpin of the rural economy for decades. So far CERB and the pandemic have buried the full cost to Nova Scotia: over $400 million in lost economic activity annually. For once we have an owner willing to make the investments required to build the cleanest pulp mill in Canada. There will be a rigorous Class 2 Environmental Assessment. The past is behind us. Let the science speak.

    Reply
  45. I support the reopening of Northern Pulp!

    Reply
  46. We should all be proud to have this valuable industry in Pictou County, let’s all support the NEW NORTHERN PULP and get it operating again!

    Reply
  47. We need to have the mill open to prevent wood from getting wasted

    Reply
  48. As the last Chief Power Engineer at NPNS I fully endorse the modernization plan.

    Reply
  49. I’m glad to see this level of commitment to sustainable operations and community relationships by Northern Pulp!

    Reply
  50. Wood pulp supplies us with so many products in our everyday lives and all from a renewable resource; a pulp mill is an integral part to any successful forest industry. In order to make the primary products we use everyday, we need a pulp mill in Nova Scotia. I support Northern Pulp.

    Reply
  51. This company is willing to invest the time and capital to right the environmental wrongs of their past, modernize their operation, and do the work it takes to heal their relationship with PLFN and the surrounding communities.

    I don’t support any mill restart; I support an environmentally bulletproof effluent system, clean air, and a company that is committed to being a great part of our community.

    Reply
    • The most renewable resources is wood, if you are talking about the environment. Do you have any idea that pulp and paper is the cleanest product in the world? It is renewable and it is also biodegradable. The woods chopped down are FSC certified. If you really care about the environment why are you using natural gas to heat your house and burning the coal to supply the power? DO YOU KNOW the coal burning power plant with 645MW generator will discharge over 40 million tons CO2 in 10 years but 20 million tons CO2 by burning natural gas and only 4 million tons CO2 will be discharged by burning wood pellet? We are talking about the Carbon footprint and your daily life usage is way more polluted than the pulp and paper industry.

      Reply
  52. We need Northern Pulp in Pictou County

    Reply
  53. I support the reopening of a cleaner modernized Northern Pulp. Pictou County needs good paying jobs.

    Reply
  54. It would be nice to see the mill move forward and become a big part of the area again 🤞

    Reply
  55. I support Northern Pulp reopening.

    Reply
  56. We need to get the mill back open for Great Jobs and economy

    Reply
  57. I fully support the reopening of a transformed, re-engineered Northern Pulp! The forestry sector needs this facility to properly manage wood lots with the tops and low grade wood being sold as Pulpwood. The sawmills need a good market for pulp chips which with there long strong fibers can be turned into world class products we use every day!

    Lets give the mill a fair chance to pass the class two environmental assessment and set up a world class operation like ones operating in other progressive, environmentally conscious country’s! Lets see the Forest Economy in NS thrive as we further discover what other products can be made from this wonderful renewable resource!

    Reply
  58. Glad to be accepted.

    Reply
  59. I see the need for this mill to reopen almost everyday.I work part time in the forest industry and see this first hand. Better prices for Woodlot owners is only one of the benefits, an economic plus for the province is another.And there many more

    Reply
  60. Hoping the pulp mill is up and working soon

    Reply
  61. A great opportunity to do it right. Look after the woods workers, pay them well, include First Nations partners, and educate the public. Let’s not make the same mistakes over and over. We know how to do it right and if we do, we can bring this industry back. I’m in!

    Reply
  62. This mill had been a source of livelihood for many families over the years and could continue to be for years to come. The present company is willing to right the wrongs of their past, but also those of the years prior to their ownership by committing to invest time and capital needed to create a clean modernized mill. I support a New Northern Pulp.

    Reply
  63. I believe closing boat harbour was long over due. Our governments have failed both the Indigenous community, and the forestry sector of Nova Scotia. It’s rare in any industry to get a second chance after a forced closure usually resulting in relocation to another province or territory fighting for the chance at potential revenue. There needs to clear understanding that this is not boat harbour, our governments need to step up to plate and work with NP ensuring this project is a success story and can be a model for the the future of sustainable and green resource management here in Pictou County.

    Reply
  64. Our forests are precious natural resources that can play a vital role in the future of Nova Scotia. As one of the thousands of private woodlot owners in the province, I can say there is no one more committed to ecological management of our forests. I’m excited about the future and having a well managed, ecological forest needs a New Northern Pulp. Like many private landowners, my woodlot has been in my family for over 80 years. It’s a source of great pride, a place that we treasure and it’s worth protecting and managing for future generations – part of making sure that happens is a New Northern Pulp.

    Reply
  65. I hope that the science will show that a pulp mill can operate and be environmentally friendly.

    Reply
  66. The sooner you get it done the better.Good luck

    Reply
  67. Have spent time in the mill supporting their maintenance operations over the years as a safety professional. I for one hope that the new plan moves forward as NS needs the jobs provided by heavy industry.

    Reply
  68. Delighted to read the article on Peter and Pat Spicer in Saturday Oct/ 23 Herald and also the many comments and articles on this website in support of Northern Pulp.
    The forestry industry is a major contributor to the economy of all of Nova Scotia.Northern Pulp served not only western and central Nova Scotia but eastern Nova Scotia including Cape Breton and provided an alternative to the Port HAWKESBURY MILL
    The new Northern Pulp will make it possible for all wood lot owners to practice good forest management which in the end will be very beneficial to the environment as a whole. We strongly support Northern Pulp in its efforts to resume operations.

    Reply
  69. Get the mill up and running. Sooner the better!

    Reply
  70. I learnt a tremendous amount of information from your site. I look forward to updates. It will come down to NP. However, saying that, it is important to get this critical information to all citizen’s of Nova Scotia. It is easier to make an informed opinion, when you have a full understanding of all of the facts.
    I look forward to further information.

    Reply
  71. A healthy forestry sector needs a market for low quality wood, whether that wood is the result of a commercial thinning/selective harvest or a more intensive cut. I am concerned by the evidence I see of high-grading, due to the severe limitations on the ability to find an outlet for material which is not suitable for lumber markets. Much of the good resulting from efforts to manage woodlands sustainably may be undone by the situation in which we currently find ourselves.

    I am optimistic that a way can be found to upgrade and reopen the mill, while ensuring compliance with appropriate clean air and clean water standards, and thus creating an environment conducive to implementation of the objectives established by the Lahey Report.

    Reply
  72. I believe in science and I support Northern Pulp’s plans to be a cleaner modernized mill and Nova Scotia needs a healthy forestry sector

    Reply
  73. Glad to support this group.

    Reply

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Common Questions

IS THERE ENOUGH FORESTS LEFT TO SUPPLY A PULP MILL?

Yes, there is lots of wood fiber in Nova Scotia. Over 75% of our land is forests and more than half of our forests are at the mature or over-mature stage. More trees die naturally than are harvested in Nova Scotia. In the last decade, our net total forest fiber has grown by 15%.

Why not let the trees grow so they can all be made into lumber??

Trees won’t all grow tall and straight. There are crooked ones, many trees grow too close together and need to be thinned to make room for the tree that will grow tall and straight. When a forester nurtures a woodlot, they remove the undesirable trees to make room for the others to grow. It is that byproduct that feeds a pulp mill and makes the woodlot stronger.

Is there a lot of pulp by product from a Premier tree harvested for lumber?

Trees are round and generally lumber is rectangular or square, so wood chips and bark are about 30% of the premium tree and this provides important revenue for the sawmill operator if they have a pulp mill to sell it too or it becomes a cost to dispose of if they can’t sell it which is a huge difference.

Will clearcutting continue?

Clearcutting has been reduced from about 80% of all Crown land operations five years ago to 38% today. With Lahey fully implemented, clearcutting is expected to about 20% of harvests on Crown land. Sometimes, clearcuts are the preferred ecological treatment because of the condition of the woodlot. For example, a fully mature stand should be harvested all at once. As well, an area that has experienced infestations or has significant blowdowns selective harvesting isn’t safe, possible or prudent.

Northern Pulp failed to get an environmental approval last time. Maybe they just aren’t up to it?

We think the new, bold Northern Pulp plans are just what forestry needs and the right solution for the pulp mill. It’s comprehensive and makes the mill into one of the cleanest in the world.

Last time, Northern Pulp was forced to act in a rush to replace an Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) in under five years. The ETF Northern Pulp was using and all the previous owners used was owned by the Government of Nova Scotia and the Government set a hard deadline for it to be closed. So Northern Pulp focused on a plan to replace the ETF as fast as possible. The proposed solution was a standard Canadian pulp mill solution that is approved and operating all across Canada. The ETF only plan wasn’t acceptable to the community and the government of Nova Scotia and has been withdrawn from the EA process by the company.

In that process, Northern Pulp learned a lot. Neighbours and residents of Pictou were concerned about more than just the Effluent Treatment Facility and the original proposal was too narrow. The New plan addresses all of the concerns expressed by the community including effluent treatment, odour, air quality, water use, and forestry operations.

This New plan is for a total transformation of the existing pulp mill. The province has just announced a Class II Environmental Assessment will be undertaken for the mill. This is an even more rigorous process than the last Environmental Assessment process. This is good. The process will analyze the mill’s plans and provide Nova Scotians with the confidence those plans are environmentally sound.

Why would the forest industry support a company such as Northern Pulp?

For people involved in forestry, Northern Pulp is a very good company to deal with. They pay fair prices for pulp fiber, they buy most types of fiber and they were easy to do business with. Northern Pulp is an essential anchor for Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. Although the new mill will be the same size, with different equipment it will be able to purchase even more previously underutilized species than before.

The plan involves releasing treated effluent directly into Pictou Harbour. Do you support that?

The New Northern Plan involves fully treating the effluent in a tertiary treatment system – the first in Canada. This means the treated water will look and be like the rest of the water in Pictou Harbour. Obviously, independent studies need to be done to confirm the quality of the effluent and confirm that it will not harm the environment. The environmental assessment process will look closely at the effluent treatment system, and we should wait for the results of that process. In the meantime, we know there are municipal wastewater system currently releasing their treated effluent into Pictou Harbour.

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?

The last EA dealt solely with the immediate need to replace the Effluent Treatment Facility after the Province made use of the contracted Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility (BHEFT) no longer possible. At the time, the Northern Pulp ETF replacement proposal was for the industry leading standard. During the last EA process, it became clear the community cared about more than the replacement ETF. So with significant input from a local Environmental Liaison Committee (ELC), the owners of Northern Pulp are proposing to undertake a total transformation of the mill making it into among the cleanest mills in the world with the best available technology and practices for every facet of operations including all its air, water, forestry and community impacts.

Will the new Northern Pulp process hemp?

It is unlikely the new Northern Pulp mill will process any hemp as it is not commercially available in NS. Additionally, The Northern Pulp mill finished product NBSK is the worlds premium pulp generally made from northern climate slower growing softwoods with longer and stronger fibers. Hemp is a southern hemisphere, fast-growing plant with very different features.

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?

We’re not certain what this question specifically refers to but the transformation proposal includes collecting and treating all produced and site water to the highest level possible. As well, the proposal includes additional capacity to hold a full days’ production of water onsite to avoid any requirement to ever have an overflow situation develop.

How are you treating surface water and landfill leachate now that you don’t have an onsite treatment facility?

Northern Pulp has an engineered landfill on the mill property. The landfill opened circa 1980 and is permitted by Nova Scotia Environment. The landfill contains residuals from the mill operations including primary sludge, fly ash, bottom ash, lime residues, and slaker residues. It does not contain any municipal solid waste or material from other companies, including Canso Chemicals.

Water from the landfill, consisting of water from the materials deposited, precipitation, and surface run-off is called leachate. As part of the operation of the landfill, the leachate is collected and treated. In the past, this leachate was treated as part of the mill effluent that was treated at the Boat Harbour Treatment Facility. Since the closure of the Boat Harbour Treatment Facility, the collected leachate has been treated offsite and will continue until a new advanced treatment facility is approved and operational. The Central Colchester Wastewater Treatment Facility is approved by Nova Scotia Environment to manage and treat surface water, including landfill leachate, and has been treating the water from the mill since June 2020.

Will you use “Closed Cycle Bleached Kraft Pulp Production” as part of the new mill? I understand it is the best available technology.

Northern Pulp has studied implementing a closed loop system. Unfortunately, the technology is not available to operate a closed loop system at a bleached kraft pulp mill. A closed loop system has been attempted unsuccessfully at other bleached kraft mills, but as of today the technology does not exist and there are no bleached kraft pulp mills anywhere in the world with a closed loop system.

 Additionally, the Province of Nova Scotia retained an engineering firm to study this further. They concluded that, “Closing the loop is not an option for Northern Pulp.”  You can view the report here: https://openinformation.novascotia.ca/FOI-Requests/2019-08311-TIR/shyb-bce4

Where will the pulp from the new mill be sold? Will it stay domestic?

In the past, Northern Pulp has supplied pulp to companies involved in the production of food products, LED screens, bagging, copy paper, tissue, and paper towels. As we move forward, our markets will focus on tissue production in the north east United States, and tissue, paper towel, and copy paper production in Asia. It is very likely some of these products companies produce with pulp from our mill will be sold in Canada. The exceptional quality of Northern Pulp’s product, NBSK is in very high demand wordwide. Because of it’s strength and premium quality, It is often blended with lower quality pulp products from other markets to produce finished consumer products.

What is a normal operating condition as referred to your statement about no odour during normal operating conditions?

Normal operating conditions at the Mill reflects all production and emissions controls operating as they are designed to. We expected normal operating conditions to be greater than 99% of the time. Upset conditions represent start-ups, shut downs, and unforeseen problems with our production equipment and emissions controls and will be less than 1% of the time.

Will the middle river dry up?

No. The Middle River will not dry up. When previously operating, the Mill used approximately 70,000 – 85,000 m3 of water from Middle River per day. Water usage from the Middle River will decrease by 45% to approximately 45,000 m3 of water from Middle River per day. This reduction in water use will increase the water flow into Pictou Harbour and increase its flushing capability. Detailed marine studies and modeling will be conducted and shared with the public once the work is completed.

Will there be more jobs at the mill if it reopens?

When previously operating, the Mill supported a significant number of well-paying jobs throughout Nova Scotia, including approximately 350 direct onsite jobs and 1,227 indirect jobs. We expect to hire approximately the same number of direct employees when the transformed mill reopens. Importantly, these are generally year-round, family supporting jobs.

For more questions and answers from Northern Pulp or to ask a question about the new mill transformation please got to:  https://www.tomorrowsmill.ca/transformation?tool=qanda#tool_tab