Northern Pulp Nova Scotia must pay $225,000 penalty for effluent spill

Pictou, Nova Scotia - May 13, 2016 - Environment and Climate Change Canada

The Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation has been ordered to pay $225,000 for a Fisheries Act offence that occurred in June 2014. The offence relates to a pipeline break that spilled over 47 million litres of untreated pulp and paper effluent into an area leading to the East River/Pictou Harbour.

On May 11, the Court rendered its final decision regarding the allocation of the total penalty, which will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) program. The Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, the Pictou County Rivers Association and the Pictou Landing First Nation will each receive $75,000 under the program to carry out fish and fish habitat projects in Pictou County.

Quick facts

  • On March 23, 2016, the company was sentenced to pay a $225,000 penalty in Nova Scotia Provincial Court after entering a guilty plea in January 2016. The Court deferred the decision about how to allocate the fine to May 11, 2016.
  • On June 11, 2014, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers inspected the site and collected samples near the pipeline break. Analysis of samples taken by both Environment and Climate Change Canada and Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation showed that the untreated effluent was deleterious to fish. Depositing or allowing the deposit of a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish is an offence under the federal Fisheries Act.
  • The company’s name has been added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. This registry, created in 2009, contains the names of corporations convicted of offences under certain federal environmental laws.
  • The EDF is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Created in 1995, it provides a way to direct funds received as a result of fines, court orders and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our natural environment.


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