Marathon, Ontario, Canada, 20 September 2011 -- For two years there has been an ongoing dispute as to who is responsible for the environmental clean-up at the dormant pulp mill in Marathon, Ontario.
The Ontario Ministry of Environment, former mill co-owner Tembec, and other unnamed “parties” reached a tentative settlement on Friday, but no details have been made public, according to The Chronicle Journal.
The tentative deal may be approved by the province’s Environmental Review Tribunal on 06 October to avoid a full hearing.
Tembec has been monitoring the site for the last two years on orders from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Tembec was forced to clean-up the numerous chemical spills that occurred at the site in 2009 and 2010.
Tembec co-owned the mill before it went bankrupt in March 2009, and has been fighting the provincial order that requires it be in care and control of the vacant property.
Once the agreement over the environmental responsibilities is finalized, it might pave the way for a new owner of the mill to step in.
Protocol Biomass Corporation, a biofuel company from Toronto, has expressed interest in retrofitting the facility to manufacture wood pellets and ship them to European markets. Protocol Biomass is particularly interested in producing blacken wood pellets that have been heated until they are more of a charcoal-like substance. This material is used by European electrical generating stations. However, the company still needs to secure a long-term wood supply allocation from the province.