Nova Scotia Lands: Boat Harbor cleanup update

Nova Scotia Lands Inc. said in its latest release that they will remove all sludge material from the Boat Harbor effluent treatment facility aeration stabilization basins – a body of water on the Northumberland Strait in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

“A single project plan to dredge and dispose of the sludge will ensure the job is completed in a timely way, and provide clarity and closure to Pictou Landing First Nation and residents of Pictou County,” Nova Scotia Lands said.

The cleanup will begin once the federal environmental assessment process is complete and approved. The approval is expected in 2021, with the cleanup to start in 2022.

Northern Pulp is responsible for removing the top layer of sludge, down to the level of a 1997 baseline survey. That must be removed before the cleanup can begin.

“The company does not have an approved decommissioning plan to date, which means there is a significant risk that decommissioning activities would overlap with the remediation project. That could delay the cleanup because it is not possible for both parties to dredge on the same site at the same time,” Nova Scotia Lands said in their latest release.

“We cannot continue to wait. Taking one management approach makes good sense to ensure it’s managed in a responsible way and timelines stay on track,” said Lloyd Hines, minister responsible for Nova Scotia Lands.

“Our ultimate goal is to return Boat Harbor, or A’se’k, to its original state as a tidal estuary. It’s a commitment to the people of Pictou Landing First Nation and Pictou County and we intend to keep it.”

The additional sludge removal is expected to cost $19 million.

Photo: Dredge Doctor