The smell from the Northern Pulp Mill is driving away visitors, says a new group representing business people in Pictou, N.S.

Clean Pictou Air formed a few months ago. On Wednesday, a dozen members of the group met with ministers from Nova Scotia’s tourism and environmental health departments.

Anne Emmett co-owns Braeside Inn. Guests have asked for refunds this summer due to the stink.

"The comment usually is, 'Very sorry, but we cannot stay overnight in this environment,'" she said.

"The stench is bad, but this smog is everywhere. It's choking. People are walking around, their eyes streaming, their noses streaming, they’re coughing, they’re spluttering. It's just a big smog that's enveloping everywhere."

Emmett understands why guests won't stay, and so is losing revenue.

An effluent leak in a Northern Pulp pipe shut down the mill in June. That led to a protest from Pictou Landing First Nation. 

It was the second time in six years the pipe broke. In 2008, the underwater pipe broke and caused a lengthy shutdown of the mill.

The Nova Scotia Department of Environment has repeatedly told the mill to stop emitting so much sulphur.