P.E.I. will have input into Nova Scotia mill's effluent plan: Minister

Nova Scotia's environment minister says he understands P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan has concerns about a pulp mill's plan to pump effluent into the Northumberland Strait, and says Islanders will have a chance for input.

Iain Rankin responded today to a letter from MacLauchlan that voiced the premier's disapproval of the Northern Pulp proposal in Pictou, N.S.

In the letter, sent to Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and federal environment minister Catherine McKenna, MacLauchlan says he shares concerns from fishermen that an outflow pipe could have "unintended consequences" for local fisheries.

Rankin says MacLauchlan is entitled to his opinion, but he points out that effluent from the mill has been flowing into the strait for the last 50 years, and the Nova Scotia government has set out in legislation that Northern Pulp must replace its effluent treatment plant by 2020.

The mill, which is across the strait from eastern P.E.I. , is to submit an environmental assessment for its proposed treatment facility to the Nova Scotia Environment Department this summer.

Rankin says the process will include a 30-day period set aside for public submissions that will include anyone who lives in P.E.I.