Minister's Response on the Designation Request for the Northern Pulp Project


Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation is proposing the modernization of its current bleached kraft pulp mill and the construction, operation, and decommissioning of a new effluent treatment facility adjacent to its pulp mill, located at Abercrombie Point near Pictou, Nova Scotia. Treated effluent would be discharged through a new pipeline extending into Pictou Harbour.


Non-designated project.


Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, considered the potential for the project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, public concern related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis prepared by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • The regulatory processes that currently apply to the project and related consultations with the potentially impacted Indigenous peoples provide a framework to address the potential adverse aforementioned effects and impacts, and concerns raised by Pictou Landing First Nation and members of the public. These processes include:
    • the ongoing provincial Class II Environmental Assessment in accordance with Nova Scotia's Environmental Assessment Regulations under the Environment Act in which Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Transport Canada, and Health Canada participate as federal experts;
    • potential provincial authorizations and approvals, should the project receive an Environmental Assessment Approval, including a Wetland Alteration Permit, and an Industrial Approval to operate pursuant to the Activities Designation Regulations under the Environment Act; and,
    • federal authorizations and approvals that may be required under the Fisheries Act; Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999; and the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.
  • the project must comply with federal and provincial legislation, including the Fisheries Act; the Species at Risk Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999; Nova Scotia's Endangered Species Act; Nova Scotia's Special Places Act; and Nova Scotia's Environment Act.

Document Reference Number: 6

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