The Minister of Environment has completed a review of two of three appeals for the industrial approval issued March 9 to Northern Pulp.
“I appreciate that there has been a lot of public interest in this approval as demonstrated by the level of engagement in the appeal process,” said Environment Minister Randy Delorey.
“Ultimately, we all want a clean operating mill and a prosperous Pictou County.”
The appeal from Clean Pictou Air focused on concerns the industrial approval did not address the department’s need to protect the health and wellness of citizens and businesses. It included a request for more monitoring of the area’s ambient air quality and emissions from the mill.
The minister denied the appeal, finding the industrial approval represents the department’s role in protecting citizens and the environment. In his decision, the minister found that the two air monitoring stations are sufficient and consistent with industry standards.
The appeal from Pictou Landing First Nation focused on a perceived insufficient Aboriginal consultation, and stated the industrial approval does not reflect agreements between Pictou Landing First Nation and government.
The Minister has denied this appeal on the grounds that meaningful consultation on the industrial approval took place with Pictou Landing First Nation before the approval was issued. Through meetings and written correspondence, representatives of Pictou Landing First Nation were able to voice concerns and request changes to the draft industrial approval. He also noted that while consideration was given to existing agreements, the purpose of the industrial approval is to improve the facility’s environmental performance.
The minister and Northern Pulp have agreed to extend the review period on the Northern Pulp appeal for up to another 30 days, which would be July 9.
Copies of the decision letters are available at http://novascotia.ca/nse/issues/northern-pulp.asp .