Nova Scotia

Pictou Landing demonstrators upset over effluent spill

A peaceful demonstration is taking place at Pictou Landing and Pictou County RCMP are on the scene.

RCMP on hand for peaceful demonstration at Boat Harbour

Pictou Landing protest

9 years ago
Duration 2:24
Chief Andrea Paul speaks about need for cleanup of Boat Harbour.

A blockade by the Pictou Landing First Nation is obstructing equipment crews from fixing the pipe that caused a spill of effluent into Boat Harbour in Pictou Landing according to Andrea Paul, the chief of the Pictou Landing First Nation.

The peaceful demonstrating is allowing clean-up crews with vacuums to enter the site, she said.

Pictou County RCMP are on the scene of the demonstration which is demanding closure of the Northern Pulp Mill.

Pictou County Cpl. Darin Young said the demonstration is not breaking any laws.

Juanita Bezansen is one of the protesters upset over effluent discharge into Boat Harbour. (CBC)
"They need to clean up Boat Harbour and bring it back to what it looked like 47 years ago and bring it back to a tidal estuary," said Paul.

A leak in an effluent pipe at the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou Country forced an indefinite shutdown of the mill Tuesday and it is not clear how long it will take to fix the problem.

The pipe carries 90 million litres of pulp mill waste every day from the mill site at Abercrombie Point, under the East River in Pictou harbour to a treatment facility at Pictou Landing.

The leak was detected at around 7 a.m. on Tuesday near the pipe's landfall on the Pictou Landing side of the East River. The mill was shut down to allow Northern Pulp to assess the situation.

The company said it does not know what went wrong or how much effluent was discharged. It also said there is no danger to the public.

The Nova Scotia Department of Environment announced they are hiring their own independent consultant to carry out testing at the site in order for the data to be released publicly.

This is the second time in six years this pipe has broken. In 2008, the underwater pipe broke and caused a lengthy shutdown of the mill.