A ministerial order has been issued to Northern Pulp, effectively setting up terms for how it will manage the mill while it is shut down.
The province issued the order yesterday, after previously issuing another ministerial order back in January that outlined how they were going to operate. That order allowed the mill to continue to release warm boiler water into Boat Harbour from mill hibernation activities until April 30th.
Speaking to reporters, Environment Minister Gordon Wilson says this is another step forward.
"And this is an evolutionary step towards the next step which would be more long term, identifying again where we feel areas of concern would be, what the plans would be on how to deal with those, and then how to monitor that as they move through their environmental assessment report," explains Wilson.
The new order says Northern Pulp is required to hire an engineer to develop a decommissioning plan for the mill's effluent pipeline as well as the open ditches, settling basins, and aeration basin. The order requires the company to provide a list each month of any projects performed that could have adverse effects on the environment.
The plan is to be submitted to the environment department for review by august 1st, and Wilson trusts this will limit any potential impact on the environment.
"Again these are technical things that we seek advice from experts on how to do," says Wilson. "And I feel very confident that what we have put in place will protect the environment and ensure that area is kept stable as they move towards the decommissioning process."
Northern Pulp must also ensure any systems that have the potential to impact the enviroment are not compromised by the shutdown.