The Department of Environment has issued a new industrial approval to Northern Pulp in Pictou County. The approval or operating licence replaces the existing one which expired today, Jan 30. “We have heard the concerns raised by the people of Pictou County and the new approval demonstrates that the status quo is no longer an option,” said Environment Minister Randy Delorey. “The changes, once implemented, will help to address the concerns of residents and bring Northern Pulp in line with other kraft pulp mills of this type in North America.” The new industrial approval, effective until 2020, includes tighter limits in three key areas – air emissions, water usage and wastewater effluent. The timing of the limits are staged over the five-year period. Changes include a significant reduction in particulate emissions from the recovery boiler. The new limit is about five times lower than the previous approval. The approval also includes an annual cap on overall emissions from the facility and requires quarterly stack testing of the recovery boiler and power boiler, rather than twice a year. Daily maximums will now be imposed on water use and wastewater effluent. Water use will be limited to 63,000 cubic metres per day. Wastewater volumes will be capped at 67,500 cubic metres per day. These reductions will be phased in over the next five years. The previous industrial approval placed no limits on water use or wastewater volumes. Public consultations on the draft approval drew 96 written submissions. The new industrial approval and other documents can be found at http://www.novascotia.ca/nse/issues/northern-pulp-boat-harbour.asp .