This article first appeared in the Halifax Examiner on November 3, 2018.
The numbers are staggering.
For the past 51 years, the bleached kraft pulp mill on Abercrombie Point in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, has piped about 1.25 trillion litres of toxic effluent into Boat Harbour. That’s enough to fill about half a million Olympic-size swimming pools, or a pipeline one metre in diameter stretching about 1.6 million kilometres, the distance to the moon and back – twice.
But in less than a year, the Northern Pulp mill has to turn off the flow. The 2015 Boat Harbour Act gives the mill until January 30, 2020 to use Boat Harbour for its effluent. The Pictou Landing First Nation has a “Winds of Change” clock on its website, counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until Boat Harbour pipe outlet is closed.
Proposals for an alternative treatment and disposal facility for the mill’s have met with vigorous and vociferous opposition from the Pictou Landing First Nation and fishermen in the three Maritime provinces, leading to rising tensions in the area.
Despite the rapidly approaching deadline for closing the pipe into Boat Harbour, Premier Stephen McNeil has told CBC that he made a commitment to Pictou Landing First Nation, and unless the people there tell him otherwise, the closure date remains. Continue reading Containing Northern Pulp’s mess: A half century of toxic waste in Boat Harbour, a leaky pipeline, and what happens next in the mill saga