Port au Port/Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group
Re: Port au Port /Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group is asking Government to take a Precautionary Approach in the Regulation of Fracking for Oil and Gas.
The Port au Port / Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group is concerned about recent public statements from Environment Minister, Tom Hedderson and Resources Minister, Tom Marshall, regarding fracking for oil and gas in
Western Newfoundland. The Fracking Awareness group is asking both Ministers to take a precautionary approach pending an independent, science- based review of hydraulic fracturing which adequately considers the cumulative impacts of what the oil industry estimates as potentially being hundreds if not thousands of wells being drilled in the Green Point Shale formation which extends from the Port au Port Peninsula to Daniel's Harbour in Western Newfoundland.
Fracking involves injecting water-laced toxic chemicals or other liquids under high pressure underground through horizontal wells - to break shale rock formations to extract oil and natural gas. Hydraulic Fracturing ( Fracking ) is becoming an increasingly controversial issue globally due to potential negative impacts on the environment including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of toxic gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and resultant negative health effects. Hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries, states and provinces suspending or banning it.
During a recent C.B.C. radio interview the Provincial Environment Minister Tom Hedderson stated that the Shoal Point fracking proposal will trigger a conjoint environmental assessment by two regulators, the C-NLOPB and the Provincial Department of Environment and Conservation. Regarding Shoal Point Energy's plans to frack for oil on the West Coast, the Fracking Awareness Group recommends that the provincial government should follow
's lead and wait for the completion of a federal government review of the hydraulic fracturing process which is to be completed in the spring of 2014. Nova Scotia
The Federal Environment Commissioner, Scott Vaughan in his 2012 audit report stated that Health Canada and Environment Canada are responsible for the regulating of toxic substances. He stated that both consider hydraulic fracturing to be an emerging global issue which they are just beginning to investigate and they informed him that a review of hydraulic fracturing is to be conducted and completed by March 2014.
Regarding Mr Hedderson’s announcement that his Environmental Department will be doing an environmental assessment concurrently and conjointly with C-NLOPB, the Fracking Awareness Group has serious concerns about the objectivity and credibility of such an arrangement. The Group agrees with the recommendation of Judge Robert Wells, in his report on offshore safety in the oil industry, that there should be a separate independent regulatory agency for worker safety and environmental protection. The Fracking Awareness Group believes that the C-NLOPB, as part of the conjoint regulatory body, should not be both a facilitator of oil and gas development and a regulator for worker safety and environmental health.
For further information please contact any of the Co- Chairs and Board Director, Wayne Hounsell as follows:
Katherine Hoskins (Boswarlos) 709 648 9365
Bill O'Gorman (
Centre) 709 642 5715 West Bay
Marion Sampson (Port au Port East) 709 648 9598
Aiden Mahoney (Stephenville) 709 643 5971
Bob Diamond (Stephenville) 709 643 6362
Wayne Hounsell (Stephenville) 709 643 5747