Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:39 am

Inverness chapter and Waycobah First Nation oppose fracking on Lake Ainslie watershed

February 18, 2011

The Halifax Chronicle Herald reports that, "PetroWorth has exploration and development rights (in) Inverness County, Cape Breton. (This) site is 154,994 hectares and lies within the Lake Ainslie watershed area, which feeds a number of other rivers including the historic Margaree River and its salmon spawning grounds." Lake Ainslie is the largest freshwater lake in Nova Scotia. "Local residents and members of the nearby Waycobah First Nation have expressed concerns (that fracking) will be used to extract the resource from the shale."

"The technology uses fluid, comprised mainly of water mixed with chemicals, sand and other materials, to put pressure on the rock so that it will fracture (and release shale gas). ...Protesters (say) the wastewater produced through the process is a potential environmental nightmare."

In the article, Daniel Gillis, a member of the Inverness chapter of the Council of Canadians, says, "We’ve been very concerned about the technology because in certain areas of the United States, there have been complaints about bad water and communities losing their groundwater. ...We’re just strongly opposed to fracking. ...A lot of people just don’t want any drilling to take place at all because in the end it won’t be worth it. A few short-term jobs and who knows what problems will be left behind."

"Inverness County council was so impressed with a presentation earlier this week by those opposing the project (including the Council of Canadians chapter), it passed a resolution calling on the provincial government to ban fracking provincewide." More on that at "...(Inverness County) Warden Duart MacAulay (says) if 'there is a risk to a watershed area and this pristine area, would it be worth it?' (Nova Scotia) Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker said he’s talked to MacAulay about council’s decision and his department will send information to council as requested. Parker said provincial decisions on fracking would come when applications are made."

Presently, "The provincial Environment Department is reviewing an application from PetroWorth to drill a conventional test well on the site. ....Although PetroWorth doesn’t plan on using fracking when it drills the test well, there is a possibility the technology could be used in the future. ...Provincial regulations would require the company to get provincial approval if it was going to be used."

Drilling is expected to begin in the spring.

Past campaign blogs on the threat of fracking in Inverness County are at

Today's news article is at
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Jessica Ernst discusses fracked life at fundraiser

Postby Oscar » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:22 pm

Jessica Ernst discusses fracked life at fundraiser

Angela Saieva Dec. 7, 2011

Jessica Ernst shares her experiences with hydraulic fracturing at a fundraiser for Energy Future Coalition of Nova Scotia held at Tatamagouche Centre on December 7. (Saieva photo)

Energy Future Coalition of Nova Scotia held a fundraising potluck dinner at Tatamagouche Centre the evening of December 7 featuring Jessica Ernst of Rosebud, AB as the keynote speaker. More than 60 people attended the dinner to help raise funds for the fight against hydraulic fracturing and to hear Ernst speak.

Ernst was asked by the Council of Canadians to come to the Maritimes to share her story with the communities which have already experienced shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing or are facing the possibility of it in the future.

“I think fracking is the worst issue I’ve ever seen,” said Ernst. “Anyone who asks me to come to their community to speak, I go. It’s my honour and due diligence to share this information and my experience.”

Ernst is currently in a legal battle with EnCana, Alberta Environment, and the Energy Resources Conservation Board. She launched a $33 million lawsuit, charging them with negligence and unlawful activities that have left her community’s well water so contaminated it can be lit on fire.

Ernst is no stranger to the oil industry or EnCana. She is an environmental consultant and biologist with three decades of experience working in the oil industry. Her company, Ernst Environmental Services, was consulting for EnCana at the time it began its shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations in Rosebud.

Ernst’s “fracked life,” as she refers to it, began in 2003 with a lot of noise when EnCana began drilling wells near her home.

“It sounded like jet engines taking off 24/7,” she said.

EnCana also tested her well water. The tester deemed the water “clear” and did not report any visible gas.

Ernst says that during the summer of 2004, the water wells in her community started to go bad. EnCana investigated itself and declared its innocence, blaming the bad water on the local water well driller.

Ernst did a search on EnCana’s practises in Rosebud through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Alberta. She found a report from July 16, 2004 which stated, “Pressure test to 21 Mpa (supervisor error). Pressure cracked the remedial cement. Cement will no longer pressure test to 7 Mpa.” Ernst believes these cracks allowed methane to migrate from EnCana’s wells into the fresh water aquifers the wells in her community draw from.

In August 2004, EnCana’s land manger attempted to get blanket approval to drill wells in Rosebud. Ernst tried to consult with EnCana, as per her job, and encouraged the company to hold an open house so the community could understand what EnCana wanted to do and have the opportunity to ask questions. Ernst says the land manager agreed to the open house, only to hit the streets once again a few days later to try to get signatures for blanket approval.

Ernst resigned from EnCana on September 9, 2004.

“How could I ethically consult for a company who was lying to my community?”

On January 11, 2005, an explosion resulted in significant damage to Rosebud’s potable water reservoir. Investigators reported an accumulation of gas appeared to be the culprit. The explosion caused the water tower’s concrete lid to move 16 inches, exposing the potable water to the elements, as well as cracking the tower’s walls.

Alberta Environment tested Ernst’s water on March 3, 2006. The results showed an alarming amount of gas. Ernst said she was told she is not using enough water and therefore is to blame for the gas accumulation in her well.

Three days later the Environment minister and his staff called an emergency meeting with the owners of the contaminated water wells. Ernst said the owners were told they are using too much water and are to blame for the migration of gas into their wells.

Tests performed throughout the spring and summer of 2006 showed toxic chemicals in Ernst’s water as well as the Hamlet of Rosebud’s water.
Levels of methane dissolved in Rosebud’s water were recorded at 30-66 mg/l. A gas migration report issued by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in 1996 states there is a risk of explosion at 1 mg/l if gas contaminated water passed through a confined space.
Ernst began to notice strange things happening with her water.

“My water dramatically changed,” she said.

Her skin would burn after showering, she could no longer make suds, her dogs refused to drink the water, her taps were whistling, and water was spurting out of the tub and toilets. At times, she even had difficulty closing her taps because there was so much gas trying to push its way out.

“My water’s too dangerous to even have connected to my house,” said Ernst.

She wasn’t the only one who noticed something was wrong. In May 2006, Rosebud resident Bruce Jack saw water exploding from the lines that connected his well to his house. Jack called government regulators who came to investigate. While the men stood examining the well it exploded sending all three of them to the hospital.

Ernst says EnCana will not release the names of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

“To this day we do not know what chemicals were injected,” said Ernst. “I’ve heard the same thing in all the communities I’ve talked to.”

Though the allegations Ernst has filed against EnCana, Alberta Environment and the Energy Resources Conservation Board have yet to be proven in court, they have raised awareness of the issues surrounding shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Ernst’s story has also been a source of motivation for those who are fighting against fracking in their communities.

Ernst agreed to take questions after sharing her story. One resident asked if she thought there was a chance to stop hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia. Ernst said Nova Scotia has the benefit of years of accumulated research, knowledge and media coverage which will aid in the fight against fracking.

“I think (here in) Nova Scotia can ban it,” she said. “You have the whole world concerned.”

Another resident asked Ernst if she would settle out of court. Her answer was simple – no.

“I believe my freedom of speech is more important than even $1 billion,” Ernst said. “There is no amount of money worth more than spreading this information.”

Questions about how to best focus the efforts of the community were also asked. Some wondered if they should focus their energy on other communities that are much closer to being fracked or if it’s of greater benefit to try to stop it from happening in their own backyards.

Ernst said the best approach is to balance time and energy between your own community and others in need of help. She also stressed the importance of sharing the load and knowing how much is too much for one person to handle.

“It’s important to pace yourselves and to rest,” said Ernst.

She also discussed the necessity to remain strong and united as a community. Ernst said the oil and gas industry’s approach is to cause rifts within the community so it becomes easier to gain support.

“It’s really important to have compassion for those in your community,” she said. “When you allow this industry to divide you they have you.”

Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, agrees that the community must work together and make a stand in order to keep hydraulic fracturing from happening on the North Shore.

“I personally don’t support fracking on the North Shore,” Armstrong said. “I think we have too much to lose; the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. The community has to build public support, stay strong, stay organized, stay vigilant and be prepared.”

Armstrong also said he will do what he can to work with the public and will address concerns from his constituents.

Ernst emphasized the importance of staying positive and appreciating the value of every achievement, no matter how big or small, as a step in the right direction. Having strong convictions and refusing to back down is extremely powerful.

“I have learned that we have an incredible, amazing amount of power and our governments and regulators are afraid of that,” said Ernst.
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Report launch: Fracking in NS – the real story

Postby Oscar » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:09 am

Report launch: Fracking in NS – the real story

< >

By Angela Giles, Friday, April 26th, 2013

This past Monday evening (on Mother Earth Day), NOFRAC launched the report, Out of Control: Nova Scotia’s experience with fracking for shale gas, in the community it happened back in 2007-2008. Kennetcook NS still has tailings ponds full of fracking waste, and many community members didn’t know the details of what had happened or even where the toxic waste ponds are.

To read the report, report summary and supporting documentation, click here:
< ... e-paper-2/ >

To read the Chronicle Herald on the report and launch, click here:
< ... eport-says >

Through research and documents received through a Freedom of Information request to the NS Government, the report uncovered a series of problems, including:

• Wastewater ponds built and filled without appropriate permits.
• A leaking wastewater pond but no soil testing done.
• A company determined to dispose of millions of litres of fracking wastewater underground, despite provincial refusals.
• Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) allowed discharge of 7 million litres of untreated fracking wastewater into the Windsor sewage treatment system, although an internal NSE document states that fracking wastewater (formation water) is typically too contaminated to be released into the environment without treatment.
• NSE gave approvals for disposal of fracking wastewater before they had information about the full range of contaminants in the wastewater, including radioactive elements.

Several concluding lessons learned are also outlined in the report and report summary, but include that the regulators are clearly behind industry in terms of an understanding of the industry and concerns with it, and health and environments effects may only appear over time.

The Council of Canadians has been involved with NOFRAC since its inception, and Matt Ramsden, Communications team member from our national office, did the layout for the report and supporting documents. The Atlantic office was on the sub-committee for this report, and the number of hours the other amazing sub-committee members put into the report needs to be recognized. Great job everyone!
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Postby Oscar » Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:46 pm

WIN! Bill 6 moratorium on fracking passes in Nova Scotia

[ ... ova-scotia ]

November 26, 2014 - 8:12am

The Council of Canadians is pleased that Bill 6 - which places a legal moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing - has passed in Nova Scotia. The bill passed on November 14 with the governing Liberals and opposition New Democrats voting in support of it. The Progressive Conservatives voted against the legislation.

The Chronicle-Herald reports, "The bill, which came following the release of the Wheeler report, extends a moratorium on 'high-volume hydraulic fracturing' in shale formations until the government can develop regulations and an onshore atlas of available natural gas resources." [ ... ecomes-law ]

In October 2013, a poll commissioned by the Council of Canadians, the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition and the Sierra Club showed that 69 per cent of Nova Scotians strongly support or support a continued moratorium on fracking. [ ... n-fracking ]

We also encouraged the public through our action alert Let's keep Nova Scotia frack-free to make written submissions to the independent review panel whose recommendations informed Bill 6. [ ... frack-free ]

In June 2014, we wrote a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil urging him to place a ban on fracking in Nova Scotia given the host of grave concerns raised in a Council of Canadian Academies report. [ ... 614-NS.pdf ]

In July we said that the moratorium on fracking must remain in place until the Mi’kmaq community consents to a change. [ ... ir-consent ]

And we called on our supporters and the public to show their support for a noratorium on fracking by requesting a meeting with their MLA as well as posting signs, banners or stickers on their houses and cars.

While we are pleased that the legislation has now passed, it is not ideal.

The Council of Canadians is a member of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC). Last month, the Chronicle-Herald reported,
"The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition said [the bill has] shortcomings when it comes to a definition for fracking, community consent and exemptions for research." [ ... dly-flawed ] Concerns were expressed that the bill does not include a requirement for community consent before fracking is permitted, that it is specifically
aimed at high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale rock formations, and that fracking would be defined in regulations rather than in the bill.

Our Halifax-based Atlantic regional organizer Angela Giles raised these concerns when she spoke at legislative hearings on the draft bill in late October. [ ... otia-today ]

In terms of next steps, "[Energy minister Andrew] Younger said the next immediate step would be to develop a definition of high-volume hydraulic fracturing for inclusion in the regulations. ...Younger said he expects regulations for the definition to be open for a 30-day comment period in December or January. Regulations for onshore develop are a work in process, he said."

Unfortunately, "The legislation is not meant to provide a permanent moratorium, Younger said, but is intended to give the government time to 'put in place all of the things that are necessary.' That includes the duty to consult with First Nations and managing relationships with municipalities, he said. Younger said the Wheeler report’s estimate that it could be decades before the province is ready for fracking is probably too long, but he wasn’t prepared to give his own estimate."

The Council of Canadians will continue to organize for a permanent moratorium against fracking.

Brent Patterson's blog
[ ]
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Postby Oscar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:52 am

Nova Scotians reaffirm opposition to fracking as onshore petroleum atlas is released

[ ... s-released ]

January 10, 2018 Joint Media Release

K’JIPUKTUK (Halifax) – A coalition of groups and citizens is raising the alarm following the Nova Scotia Department of Energy’s under-the-radar release of their Onshore Petroleum Atlas. The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC) says the release of this atlas, which touts the potential economic benefits of fracking in the province, points to a possible intention by the government to reintroduce the dangerous gas extraction method despite the moratorium implemented in 2014.

“The conditions under which Nova Scotia banned fracking have not changed,” says Robin Tress, with the Council of Canadians. “There is now even stronger evidence that fracking endangers groundwater, human health, and our ability to address climate change. Given the risks fracking poses to water, and Nova Scotia’s droughts and drinking water shortages of the last few years, it does not make sense for Nova Scotia to try to push for fracking.”

Allowing fracking in the province would also be a clear contradiction of the September 2017 Mandate Letter from Premier Stephen McNeil to the Minister of the Environment, which states that the Minister must “continue to enforce the moratorium on fracking for onshore natural gas”. [ ... MinNSE.pdf ]

“It is a waste of time, money, and expertise to create and promote an atlas for something we’ve decided, as a province, to prohibit,” says Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. “We need to move beyond fossil fuels and invest time and money in renewable energy development, improving energy efficiency, and meeting our climate targets in a way that benefits Nova Scotians and our growing green economy.”

“There are now nearly 300,000 jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Canada, which is already outpacing that of oil and gas development,” says Thomas.

The government-commissioned review of fracking in 2014 recommended that “independently conducted research of a scientific and public participatory nature” is needed and that “Nova Scotia should design and recognize the test of a community permission to proceed” before any exploration occurs. The report also emphasized the need for applying the precautionary principle to such exploration - do nothing until it is proven doing something is not harmful. To date, none of these recommendations have been realized. [ ... turing.pdf ] ("Report of the Nova Scotia Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing" - August 2014)

“This is a step backwards,” says Barb Harris of NOFRAC. “Communities across the province made it completely clear they do not want to see fracking in Nova Scotia. Instead of investing any more money or time in supporting the fracking industry, let’s put our energy into building industries that meet 21st century realities and needs.” -30-


Robin Tress, Council of Canadians
902 223 8526

Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
902 441 7136

Barb Harris, Nova Scotia Fracking and Resource Coalition (NOFRAC)
902 351 2490

TAGS: fracking
[ ]

Nova Scotia
[ ]
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Postby Oscar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:37 pm


[ ... ]

TO: Premier Stephen McNeil

CC: Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, Environment Minister Iain Rankin, PC Leader Jamie Baillie, NDP Leader Gary Burrill

SUBJECT: No fracking in Nova Scotia

Make your letter count! Please add your own words and describe why this is important to you here:

[ ... ]


Nova Scotia implemented a ban on fracking in 2014 following an extensive expert review and public consultation process. The Council of Canadians and other organizations we worked with were a critical mobilizing force during that time, and together we overwhelmingly said “no!” to fracking in this province.

Now, the Nova Scotia government has released an Onshore Petroleum Atlas [ ... otia-s.pdf ], showing how much shale gas is in Nova Scotia, and how much potential profit there is to be made by extracting it. This atlas demonstrates the government’s willingness to re-open the debate on fracking less than four years after it was banned.

Since the 2014 legislated ban, even more scientific evidence has been shared that shows the dangers fracking presents to human health, water and the environment. [ ... -in-canada ]

The expert review and public consultation [ ... turing.pdf ] made key recommendations including that fracking should “not proceed at this time,” that “independently conducted research of a scientific and public participatory nature” is needed before fracking should be considered, and a “test of a community permission to proceed before exploration occurs.” The Onshore Petroleum Atlas does not meet any of these recommendations.

As the Government of Nova Scotia calls for discussion on fracking, we need to once again deliver our united message: No fracking in Nova Scotia. [ ... -1.4479368 ]
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