The future of a Nova Scotia pulp mill remained uncertain Friday as the province asked for more work on its contentious proposal to pipe 85 million litres of its treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait. The Northern Pulp paper mill has become a flashpoint, with its plan to pump waste into rich fishing grounds pitting forest industry workers against fishermen, environmentalists and even the P.E.I. government — which opposes the plan due to concerns over the impact on lobster harvesting.
Nova Scotians now have access to the details of Northern Pulp's controversial plan to build a new effluent treatment plant and discharge pipeline that will empty into the Northumberland Strait. The plan put forward to the Environment Department is to build a "biological activated sludge" treatment facility purchased from a Paris-based multinational corporation called Veolia Water Technologies.
The cost of testing ranges between $30 and $120, depending on the scope of the analysis. The provincial Environment Department recommends residents on well water have it tested for bacteria every six months, and every two years for chemicals such as arsenic, fluoride, lead, nitrate/nitrite and uranium. Bacterial quality is usually assessed by a coliform test.
A hole drilled for a mineral exploration company seven years ago is leaking contaminated water into the environment, and although the Nova Scotia government learned of the problem last year, staff decided not to fix it. The incident raises questions about how the province regulates exploration activities.
In 2019, some metered customers using 5/8th-inch pipes will pay 31.1 per cent more in 2019. It will go up 10.5 and 9.5 per cent in the two years after. Other metered customers will see rate increases ranging from 32.9 to 43.8 per cent in 2019. They will range from 10.1 per cent to 17.2 per cent more the year after and 10.7 per cent to 16.5 per cent in the year after that.
Representatives for the town of Pictou, N.S., did not learn the proposed route for a new effluent pipe from Northern Pulp would cross their watershed until the plan was made public in media reports. Officials from the pulp mill met with Pictou Landing First Nation officials and fishermen's associations several weeks ago to detail the new proposed route after problems were discovered with the original route.
The Nova Scotia government is buying bottled water and dispatching tanker trucks to a southwestern stretch of the province grappling with an extended drought. The Emergency Management Office said it has been working in Argyle, Barrington and Yarmouth to make sure people whose wells have run dry have access to drinking water.
“I had so many questions.” Such as: If the river has poop in it from nearby houses, how many houses? Bowles collected and analyzed water samples, running them through a filter funnel and putting the filter on an enterococci testing card. After 36 hours in an incubator, the colonies of fecal bacteria on the card turn blue. Bowles counted the blue dots. The results revealed levels of fecal contamination above Canada’s federal standards for swimming or boating. Among those sailing the LaHave waters at the time was Bowles’ little brother. Conrad chimed in, “You were mortified.”
Nearly 120 million cubic metres of untreated sewage and runoff entered Canadian waterways in 2016, StarMetro has learned.
That’s roughly the same amount of water that roars over the edge of Niagara Falls over the course of 12 hours — except it’s not whitewater spewing from these pipes. It’s murky, brown and a little bit chunky.