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Northern Pulp set to resume survey work early next week in the Northumberland Strait

Boats can be seen docked at Pier C in Pictou where a survey boat was forced by fishermen to return to on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Boats can be seen docked at Pier C in Pictou where a survey boat was forced by fishermen to return to on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Northern Pulp says that it will resume survey operations on the sea floor of the Northumberland Strait early next week.

“We anticipate work to begin as soon as Monday,” said Kathy Cloutier, spokesperson for Northern Pulp’s parent company, Paper Excellence. “Crews will assemble with equipment by the end of this week, no later than Sunday.”

In 2018 survey work in the Strait was delayed by fishermen protesting the controversial pipeline. Northern Pulp sought a temporary injunction prohibiting future interference while surveyors assess the site for the proposed pipeline’s discharge point.

The injunction, which both Northern Pulp and fishermen agreed to on Jan 28, 2019, prohibits any further interference.

Seven of last year’s protesters are named specifically in the injunction which also includes the many unnamed protesters as ‘Jane and John Doe.’

When contacted by The News, representatives of both the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association and the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board each declined to comment.

“We certainly haven’t heard any word that there’s going to be issues,” said Pictou County RCMP spokesperson, Cpl. Ron Bryce. “Our position will be, as always, to make sure everyone remains safe. We might have our police vessel in the water to ensure public safety as well.”

Cloutier said Northern Pulp isn’t expecting any problems either.

“We’re confident that this work will be carried out without any issue.”

Asked if they are confident in being able to complete the new effluent treatment facility and pipeline ahead of the January 2020 deadline to close Boat Harbour, Cloutier emphasized again the need for an extension.

“We’ve said for some time now that an extension is required to ensure the continued operation of Northern Pulp while we go through the environmental assessment process,” said Cloutier.

On March 28, the Nova Scotia government announced that more information about the project’s environmental impact was required.

“Obviously, this survey is part of that,” said Cloutier.

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