PICTOU - Nearly a year after she first took notice of Pictou County, the famous American consumer advocate and environmentalist Erin Brockovich has taken to Facebook to speak out against Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp.
The post calls for the people of Pictou and the surrounding areas to contact Premier Stephen McNeil to address their concerns.
"The massive international polluter, Northern Pulp, emits 63 per cent of all the PM 2.5 in Nova Scotia; more than every other company combined. They are No. 6 on the list of all of Canada’s top polluters, destroying the community’s quality of life significantly."
Still, Northern Pulp stated they are acting on all measures ordered by the provincial government and action is already well underway to bring Northern Pulp into compliance.
“Northern Pulp is in the process of replacing the current recovery boiler electrostatic precipitator by mid May 2015 and the project remains on schedule,” wrote David MacKenzie of Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp.
The mill takes issue with the claim that the mill emits 63 per cent of the province’s PM 2.5. Instead, they argue that if you extrapolate the levels for Canada to Nova Scotia, it means 19.6 per cent of total PM 2.5 emissions are from industrial reporting sources. In the case of this province, Northern Pulp would make up 63 per cent of the 19.6 per cent, 63 per cent of all PM 2.5 emissions. The mill predicts the new precipitator, slated for installation in May 2015, will bring recovery boiler stack emissions down to between 30 and 50 mg/ref cubic metre.
Brockovich indicated that the alleged negative health effects of the pulp mill, such as asthma, nausea, burning eyes, headaches and other respiratory symptoms, couldn’t continue.
"It is all connected people. You pollute our air, which pollutes our soil, which pollutes our lakes and streams, which pollutes our drinking water," she wrote.
In response, Northern Pulp and Paper Excellence emphasized their commitment to continue the transformation of the mill into an operation with a 21st century approach to environmental sustainability and financial stability.
“This is our commitment to our community and the people of Nova Scotia.”
Brockovich expressed her sadness that this was taking place in a country like Canada and that the people of Nova Scotia deserve better, calling citizens to, “Wake up, eh?”