To the editor,
The residents surrounding Northern Pulp in communities of Pictou, Abercrombie, Pictou Landing, New Glasgow, Trenton and Chance Harbour witness the plume of airborne ultra-fine particulates and the pungent odour of sulphur oxides every day.
The air pollution includes incredible levels of respirable particulates which impact the health of the mill employees and local residents.
The aqueous waste pumped into Boat Harbour/Pictou Landing is not acceptable. A man-made lake receives millions of litres of water daily, the waste water is loaded with spent
process chemicals, hydrogen sulphide, oxides of sulphur, trace minerals from the tree digestion processes, lignin's and wasted thermal energy.
Northern Pulp has committed to make limited reductions in its waste emissions. This Mill sadly lags behind other Canadian pulp mills on its environmental footprint.
Sure Northern Pulp wants to benefit from a kind government and willing residents who work hard and efficiently. The mill management need to focus their own internal resources to reduce the waste streams (airborne and liquid effluents) as the profit margins grow with the sinking Canadian dollar. Today's $0.90 dollar has afforded Northern Pulp at least 10 per cent increased profitability over this time last year without any having been handed a natural gas fuel line, more Crown land or federal funding.
The residents of Pictou County are willing to work with Northern Pulp on shared goals for a sustainable future and better health. Air and water pollution, poor industrial hygiene and financial incentives by governments which may benefit a large multinational company such as Paper Excellence should not be at the expense of workers, families and
taxpayers. Northern Pulp needs to invest in waste management, improve the working conditions in the mill and ensure its pension responsibilities are respected.