All air quality testing, along with regulatory wastewater testing, is done by a third party, and as required by regulations, reported to appropriate provincial and federal departments.
Air emissions at the Mill are performed by a third party consultant (Stantec) to EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) testing standards. A survey pre-test plan is submitted to the Department of Environment for approval at least one month in advance of testing. The survey is completed semi-annually as outlined in Northern Pulp’s EP (Environmental Permit).
Ground water and surface water are tested quarterly by Dillon Consulting of Halifax.
Effluent samples are sent to Maxxam Analytics in Halifax for all routine testing with the exception of toxicity. Toxicity sampling for the effluent is sent to Harris Industrial Testing Services Ltd. (South Rawdon).
Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation and owner Paper Excellence Canada Ltd fully supports the January 2020 closure of the Boat Harbour treatment plant. The province owns the facility and have leased the facility to mill operators since 1995.
The province of Nova Scotia and Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation are currently in early discussion regarding what will replace the current facility.
Over the last 4 years, there has been significant investment in the mill’s operations and environmental performance, with more projects currently underway. While our mill has been in operation for over 47 years, the majority of significant environmental improvements and investment have occurred over the last decade, significantly with its most recent owners Paper Excellence Canada (PEC). We here at Northern Pulp and PEC are committed to continuing to improve Northern Pulp’s environmental footprint.
All funds received from the government of Nova Scotia since 2009 ($111.7 million) are repayable loans with interest, with the exception of $3.4 million.
* Northern Pulp received the repayable loan to replace the existing recovery boiler precipitator which will significantly reduce air particulates while saving the Company $1.3 million per year in chemical costs. This investment allows Northern Pulp to implement new technology sooner to improve air quality. The $12 million loan consists of a $9.5 million loan repayable loan with interest and a $2.5 million forgivable loan with conditions.
The $28 million from the GTP along with Company contributions was spent in 3 areas to improve energy and environmental performance per program mandate. The Federal Department of Natural Resources performed an audit at the Mill in 2012 to verify that all projects related to GTP funds were completed in a satisfactory manner.
1. Power boiler upgrade
The power boiler burns sawmill wood waste and heavy oil to produce steam. The lower part of the power boiler was upgraded with state-of-the-art equipment resulting in a significant reduction in heavy oil consumption, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions. While reducing the Mill’s reliance on fossil fuels and reducing our emissions, Northern Pulp managed to increase our green energy production capability. This upgrade is working very well.
2. Recovery cycle improvements
The recovery cycle refers to the recycling of cooking chemicals to minimize losses. This initiative was a series of projects to improve the pulp washing system, evaporation plant and recovery boiler operation. The improvements have been in operation for some time and show good results. These results include a reduction of waste going to the effluent treatment system; increased black liquor (cooking chemicals and dissolved wood products) flow to the recovery boiler and increased electricity production from renewable resources. Northern Pulp is further optimizing these improvements in 2013 to achieve maximum results.
3. Odour reduction
Several improvements were made to the Mill’s odour control system which came on line during the first half of 2012. Upgrades have resulted in a reduction of odorous compounds by 70%. The $8.7 million air emission reduction projects included oxygen equipment to reduce sulphur compounds from the recovery boiler, the collection of 4 odorous streams that are now incinerated in the recovery boiler, and changes to existing incineration systems to improve performance and reliability.
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