Environment Minister Randy Delorey issued a ministerial order Aug. 21, to ensure that Northern Pulp takes measures to reduce air quality emissions that exceed approved limits under the Environment Act.
Premier Stephen McNeil said government has heard the concerns of Pictou County residents and is addressing them.
"They are voicing their concerns because they want a healthy, safe and prosperous Pictou County. We all want the same things," McNeil said. "This order makes it clear to Northern Pulp what this government expects of the company so we can clean up the air for residents and the industry can continue to prosper."
The order says Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation is in violation of a term and condition of its approva, by exceeding air quality stack emissions from a recovery boiler. Delorey issued the order to ensure that Northern Pulp takes measures to come into compliance before May 30, 2015.
"This ministerial order outlines several actions that I expect the company to complete between now and next spring," said Delorey. "This legally binding document commits Northern Pulp to cleaning up its emissions."
The order states the company has contravened the Environment Act and requires Northern Pulp to:
-- ensure an electrostatic precipitator is built, installed and commissioned on the recovery boiler by May 30, 2015, to bring the mill's air emissions into compliance
-- have stack test results submitted directly to the Department of Environment within 30 days of testing instead of the usual 90 days.
-- submit a schedule for installing the new precipitator and provide weekly progress reports in writing
-- itemize actions to be taken during the September shutdown and reporting on work done and recommendations made
-- do a second set of stack tests on or before Oct. 31, and have results sent to the Department of Environment within 30 days of completing the tests.
Department staff are working on a new industrial approval for January 2015 that will contain stricter limits on air emissions. There will be an opportunity for written public consultation this fall. The order can be viewed online.