Nova Scotia premier says province committed to cleaning up harbor area in wake of effluent spill caused by Northern Pulp mill's broken pipe, but must get more information; First Nation protesters still block access to pipe, demanding cleanup commitment

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia , June 12, 2014 () – Premier Stephen McNeil says the Nova Scotia government is committed to cleaning up the effluent in the Boat Harbour area of Pictou County.

But McNeil says the government needs to update its data on what's exactly in the polluted area and determine how much a cleanup would cost before it can proceed.

McNeil's comments come as protesters from the Pictou Landing First Nation vow to continue blocking access to a broken wastewater pipe leading from the Northern Pulp paper mill until they get a commitment on a cleanup of Boat Harbour.

The blockade went up Tuesday after the band council learned the pipe was leaking wastewater into wetlands and the nearby East River.

Environment Minister Randy Delorey says an environmental cleanup crew has been given access to the leak site and a cleanup is underway, although he doesn't have an exact estimate on how much waste leaked from the pipe.

He says he has been in contact with Pictou Landing Chief Andrea Paul and is trying to arrange a meeting, although he won't be travelling to the protest site.

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