Assessment of public perception and environmental compliance at a pulp and paper facility: a Canadian case study

  • Emma Hoffman
  • Meagan Bernier
  • Brenden Blotnicky
  • Peter G. Golden
  • Jeffrey Janes
  • Allison Kader
  • Rachel Kovacs-Da Costa
  • Shauna Pettipas
  • Sarah Vermeulen
  • Tony R. Walker


Communities across Canada rely heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods. One such community in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, has both benefited and suffered, because of its proximity to a pulp and paper mill (currently owned by Northern Pulp). Since production began in 1967, there have been increasing impacts to the local environment and human health. Environmental reports funded by the mill were reviewed and compared against provincial and federal regulatory compliance standards. Reports contrasted starkly to societal perceptions of local impacts and independent studies. Most environmental monitoring reports funded by the mill indicate some levels of compliance in atmospheric and effluent emissions, but when compliance targets were not met, there was a lack of regulatory enforcement. After decades of local pollution impacts and lack of environmental compliance, corporate social responsibility initiatives need implementing for the mill to maintain its social licence to operate.


Atmospheric emissions Community concerns Effluents Pulp and paper Regulatory compliance 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Hoffman
    • 1
  • Meagan Bernier
    • 1
  • Brenden Blotnicky
    • 1
  • Peter G. Golden
    • 2
  • Jeffrey Janes
    • 1
  • Allison Kader
    • 1
  • Rachel Kovacs-Da Costa
    • 3
  • Shauna Pettipas
    • 1
  • Sarah Vermeulen
    • 1
  • Tony R. Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.School for Resource and Environmental StudiesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of EngineeringDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Department of International Development StudiesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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