Improvements at pulp mill are within reach

Published on August 22, 2014

To the editor,
Great coverage of Northern Pulp, or Paper Excellence, pollution, and it’s nice to see 50 years later Pictou town and region finally getting upset with conditions.

Interesting to note we wanted private testing to be done at Boat Harbour prior to the mill being built and it is still the same, with relying on company and government testing, which at times can be questionable.

Hats off to Premier Stephen McNeil for his action on Boat Harbour and the new agreement signed with the Pictou Landing First Nation. Certainly I long to see Boat Harbour return to its once pristine condition.

On the positive side for Northern Pulp, my brother-in-law was home from Prince George, B.C., and he has spent his entire working life in the pulp and paper industry as a hands-on chemical engineer and steam plant engineer. Although now in retirement, he is a consultant, and is still called to work in pulp mills on serious problems. His work has him travelling to China working on problems with mills there.

He makes no bones about it that Northern Pulp can pass the tests needed with inside and outside work being done with the skilled workers the industry has.

One of the big items he discussed with me was on-site pollution treatment plants which he said are common in B.C. and special treatment sections being used with an oxygen system. He told me Boat Harbour will never be needed again with the new technology.

It will be expensive to install but the rewards are really great. His engineer friend in B.C. is an expert with these on-site systems and the advances are really amazing allowing the suspended particles to be used in the mill operations and the less harmful effluent is put into some of the great salmon rivers in B.C.

Hopefully cool heads will prevail in the meantime and both sides can be advised what is happening now and in the future.

Also, I did enjoy Andy MacGregor’s informative article, “The rest of the story,” and we all want the industry with the improvements requested and surely needed.

Lloyd P. MacKay

New Glasgow