Petition Closed

For almost 50 years, Pictou County, has been living with the toxic emissions of our pulp mill. We want accountability. We want this pollution stopped!!!

The pulp industry is the third largest polluter in Canada.  The mill in Pictou County turns more than 100 million liters of clean fresh water into toxic soup EVERY DAY.  Provincially, Pictou County residents continue to have the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, and certain cancers - all of which are known consequences of pulp mill emissions.  Studies conducted by area doctors and various government departments over the years all seem to name a local bleached kraft pulp mill as the most likely source.  And, the problems are arguably more pronounced in the community of Pictou Landing.  The once pristine water in Boat Harbour has become foul-smelling, foamy, brown toxic stews of dioxins, furans, and heavy metals as a result of decades of mill effluent. 

Public pressure can effect change in the industry.  You are the public.  Demand accountability.

Letter to
Premier of Nova Scotia Darrell Dexter
Sinar Mas Eka Tjipta Widjaja
Minister of Health and Wellness Honourable David A.Wilson
and 15 others
Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Hon Percy Paris
MLA for Pictou West, Nova Scotia Hon Charlie Parker
Nova Scotia Health Minister, Hon Dave Wilson
Pictou Centre Hon Ross Landry
Pictou East Hon Clarrie MacKinnon
MP for Central Nova Scotia The Honourable Peter Mackay
Minister of Environment Hon Sterling Belliveau
Nova Scotia Liberal Party Nova Scotia Liberal Party
PC Leader PC Party Jamie Baillie
Northern Pulp Don Breen
Federal Ministry of Fisheries The Honourable Shea
Federal Minister of the Environment The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Paper Excellence Paper Excellence
Asian Pulp and Paper APP Asian Pulp and Paper APP
Chairman of the board of Northern Resources Nova Scotia Corporation (Owner of Northern Pulp) John Hamm
I just signed a petition.

The pulp mill in Pictou County has had many years of discussion. As intelligent elected members of government we implore you to hear our message: more must be done to protect your constituents and the environment in which they live! Given the delicate economic environment, we must be clear that we are not asking for a pulp mill closure. However, we are asking that you use your legislative powers to safeguard the health and wellness of human and aquatic ecosystems and preserve the food chain. This is an important issue that has been delayed long enough. It is time to take an active role.

For almost 50 years, Pictou County, has been living with the toxic emissions of the bleached kraft pulp mill. We are suffering. We want the pollution stopped.
The pulp industry is the third largest polluter in Canada. The mill in Pictou County turns more than 100 million liters of clean fresh water into toxic soup EVERY DAY. Provincially, Pictou County residents continue to have the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, and certain cancers - all of which are known consequences of pulp mill emissions. Studies conducted by area doctors and various government departments over the years all seem to name a local bleached kraft pulp mill as the most likely source. And, the problems are arguably more pronounced in the community of Pictou Landing. The once pristine water in Boat Harbour has become foul-smelling, foamy, brown toxic stews of dioxins, furans, and heavy metals as a result of decades of mill effluent.
We are asking for:
1. Independent monitoring of Northern Pulp’s air, water and land emissions.
Northern Pulp reports certain emissions to the provincial Department of the Environment twice annually. The problem with this process is that it appears that there is no independent measurement of these emissions. As we understand it, Northern Pulp conducts its own tests and reports the results to the province. Self-reports are not good enough.
2. Scientific evidence that the sludge from effluent settling ponds is safe for burning and land spreading.
Northern Pulp reportedly burns settling pond sludge for fuel and also spreads it on vegetation on mill property. Before the Canadian Environmental Protection Act prevented the use of elemental chlorine in pulp bleaching, effluent was rich in dioxins and furans (known carcinogens) and several other toxic substances. Dioxins and furans are not biodegradable suggesting they still linger in Boat Harbour. But, these aren’t the only toxic substances in effluent. Bleached kraft pulp mill effluents have more than 300 known chemicals! How is this sediment possibly safe to burn or spread? In the interest of our welfare and transparency, we want independent scientific evidence.
3. More active oversight into Northern Pulp’s compliance with regulations.
Northern Pulp is supposed to have a ‘scrubber’ on their power boiler to minimize the toxins released into the air during their production process. Northern Pulp’s scrubber was out of commission for six years before the Department of the Environment identified this problem in an inspection. Without the scrubber, harmful air emissions far exceeded acceptable ranges. And, when asked about detecting future problems with an effluent pipe that leaked into Pictou Harbour, then CEO Keith Johnson said, “The effluent is fairly warm and if we have a leak we feel we’ll be able to see it from the surface”. This type of monitoring is unacceptable.
4. Accountability.
The people of Pictou Landing First Nation own the land at Boat Harbour and permission to use the location as a dump site expired in 2008. When the province learned that the mill had no functioning scrubber on the power boiler, they were given 18 months (including extensions) to fix the problem and get air emissions in line with standards. And, that scrubber-less boiler is where Boat Harbour sludge was burned. All of these actions put human, wildlife and aquatic life at risk. We want our government to be accountable to the people it is supposed to protect.

Now you know what the people want, begin the process of accountability. It is time.