08/18/2014 11:04 EDT | Updated 10/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Company says emissions tests at Nova Scotia mill will take a week to complete

PICTOU, N.S. - A spokesman for a Nova Scotia paper mill at the centre of environmental protests says tests are underway to determine the latest level of emissions.

David MacKenzie of Northern Pulp says the mill in Pictou has contracted Stantec, an environmental consulting firm, to conduct a week-long series of tests.

MacKenzie says tests will be done at the mill's recovery boiler, power boiler, dissolving tank and lyme kiln, and samples will be submitted to a lab for analysis.

Tests carried out in November showed particulate released by the mill was 78 per cent above legal limits, although the company says there has been a 25 per cent improvement in the levels since then.

Some local residents and business groups have called for the mill to shut down to repair its aging infrastructure, although the provincial government has said the emissions do not pose an imminent health threat.