Open Letter to Minister Gordon Wilson, Nova Scotia Department of Environment
Re: Northern Pulp Mill controversy
To be clear, I own woodlots. I spent time and money gaining insight into new ways to manage and market these resources. My children's university education was paid for by my marketing wood. I’ve also done 24 semesters of university level biology training, with a good deal of that centred on ecology, particularly marine ecology.
I have also worked for the Department of Fisheries and covered a district from Caribou to Pleasant Bay. I’m quite comfortable stating that nothing good comes out of pulp mill waste currently deposited in Boat Harbour. The wood fines from the discharge have drifted east and west of the mill for many kilometres. The wood fines, which constitute the bulk of the solid discharge, provide a floatation system to ensure a wide dispersal of the dioxins, furans and other toxic substances along that coast. I have first-hand experience looking at fish nets and lobster traps of local fishermen coated with those contaminates.
I have read the proposed plan and, in essence, what happens is those same wastes currently produced and delivered to Boat Harbour will now be delivered further off shore. This would ensure that those same contaminants and poisons are dispersed over a wider area of our coastline, poisoning a different marine ecosystem.
To reiterate, closure of the pulp mill will, acknowledgedly, result in economic hardship but persistence of the pulp mill spewing its noxious wastes is by far the greater crime and as such I would recommend against the proposed changes to the effluent water management from that site.
It’s time we started looking after our resources for our future generations.