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Waste & Recycling October 12, 2017 02:30:24 PM

Pictou County Northern Pulp Mill Fined for Violating Emission Limits

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The Pictou County mill run by Paper Excellence has now been issued a fine of $697.50. It must be noted that the company was issued a summary offense ticket for the same amount in June last year, which was revoked later.
Pictou County Northern Pulp Mill Fined for Violating Emission Limits

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou County, Nova Scotia has been issued a ministerial order for failing to comply with the terms specified in its industrial approval. This is the third straight year that the facility has been warned over emission of particulates exceeding the permitted levels.

The Pictou County mill run by Paper Excellence has now been issued a fine of $697.50. It must be noted that the company was issued a summary offense ticket for the same amount in June last year, which was revoked later.

The ministerial order issued Tuesday by NS Environment Minister Iain Rankin stated that the company was found to have violated the regulations. The order requires the company to post the results of its stack tests on its website until the expiry of its permit period in 2022, so as to address the concerns of the communities and bring in better transparency in the company’s operation. The recent results clearly suggest that more work and enforcement are needed to ensure that the power boiler is operating in compliance with the permits, Rankin added.

Further, the order requires necessary corrective action from the company to bring it back into compliance. Also, the company is required to provide external consultant report and the reports on the audits carried out this summer on the power boiler and the emission control equipment. In addition, it must also provide all training records related to the power boiler.

Meantime, disclosure made by the company states that the stack tests conducted during June this year had recorded particulate emissions of 224 milligrams per reference cubic metres., whereas the industrial permit requires the mill to operate within a measure of 150 milligrams per reference cubic metres of particulate matter. The data clearly suggested that the emissions exceeded the contamination limits by as much as 50%. In fact, three out of the last ten stack tests had pointed to elevated emission levels from the mill’s power boiler.

The ‘Clean Up The Pictou County Mill’ group, which has been opposing the mill from the very beginning, has termed the ministerial order as a positive move. Although the fine amount is negligible, the ministerial order that comes with it is expected to act as a deterrent, said Matt Gunning, a long time member of the group. Failure to comply with the ministerial order could even lead to revocation of permit at Northern Pulp Mill, sources said.

The Mill temporarily shut its operations later this month, on account of the scheduled maintenance works. The company will now have to provide report about what maintenance activities are planned at the facility. Northern Pulp must also provide an outline on how it plans to bring the power boiler into compliance.

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