Permanent injunction stops Nova Scotia fishermen's waste-pipe blockade
HALIFAX -- A permanent injunction has been granted preventing fishermen from blocking survey vessels from carrying out work for a contentious treated waste pipeline into the Northumberland Strait.
Justice Josh Arnold approved the injunction Tuesday after Northern Pulp and the fishermen agreed to a consent order last week. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court had granted the Pictou County mill a temporary injunction in December.
The injunction permanently restrains the fishermen, anyone acting on their behalf and anyone having knowledge of the order, from directly or indirectly "obstructing, impairing or interfering" with the rights of navigation for Northern Pulp or its contractors.
It prohibits interference in the waters of Pictou Harbour, Caribou Channel and the Northumberland Strait, "and any proposed route of the effluent pipe and any proposed diffuser location by means of vessel blockades or similar activities."
Also prohibited are any efforts to interfere with efforts to conduct geotechnical and videographic surveys in the same locations.
The order also dismisses Northern Pulp's claims for damages "without costs for or against any party."
The legal move comes amid a conflict over the mill's proposal to dump 62 million litres per day of treated waste into the rich fishing grounds.
The company has said the effluent will meet federal regulations for emissions, but opponents say there's a lack of firm scientific evidence of how the waste will affect the long-term health of the lucrative lobster and crab fisheries.
Under legislation passed in 2015, the provincial government has committed to closing the mill's Boat Harbour treatment facility by Jan. 31, 2020. The Pictou Landing First Nation plans to mark the beginning of an official one-year countdown on Thursday.
The company has said the treated effluent it plans to pump into the Strait will meet federal regulations for emissions, but opponents say there's a lack of scientific evidence regarding how the waste will affect the long-term health of the lucrative lobster and crab fisheries.
The company is expected to submit an environmental approval application to the provincial Environment Department sometime this week.