Pollutions & Toxics

Impacts & Issues: Waste Water (Effluent)

In 1992 the BC government adopted a regulation requiring pulp mills to reduce their discharges of organochlorines (AOX) in two stages, reaching zero discharge by the end of 2002. If the regulation had been fully implemented, BC would have had the highest standard in the world for organoclorines in pulp mill effluent (liquid wastes).

BC's pulp mills were successful in reaching the first phase target, thereby reducing their organochlorine discharges considerably.

GSA photo filesHowever, in 2002, with the deadline approaching, the government repealed the "zero discharge" requirement and replaced it with a far weaker standard. As a result, BC's AOX standard is now lower than standards for pulp mills in much of Europe.

Organochlorines are still being discharged into our marine waters.

In addition, BC's regulations are less stringent than US regulations regarding discharges of other toxic substances from pulp mills, such as black liquor.

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