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Fracking, potash mining and the right to water in Penobsquis, N.B.

Last week, Atlantic Regional Organizer Angela Giles and I made a submission to Catarina de Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, on how fracking is violating of the human right to water in the small community of Penobsquis, in the South West of New Brunswick.

Penobsquis, the industry town, had its first non-conventional wells drilled in 2000 and 2001. Since then, many more rounds of seismic testing have taken place and several more wells have been drilled. This coupled with Potash Mining has resulted in personal-use water wells drying up, health concerns, and subsidence causing damage to homes and properties (and drastically decreasing real estate values). (Photo on the right is of the new and old potash mining operation in Penobsquis, NB. It was taken by Tracy Glynn and featured on the Halifax Media Co-op website)

Corridor Resources is currently going through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with the New Brunswick government for Phase III of a hydraulic fracturing operation, including a proposal to frack using propane in place of water. CBC reports that Corridor Resources “plans to spend $27 million to increase production in McCully Field in Penobsquis and areas near Elgin if it obtains the necessary regulatory approval.”

Communities across New Brunswick will be organizing the Voice of the People Tour to provide public education about shale gas, clean jobs, and clean energy. 

To read the submission to the Special Rapporteur including our letter to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government on Corridor Resources’ EIA, click here.

The letter to the Special Rapporteur concludes: “The Council of Canadians is watching what is happening in Penobsquis with keen interest but given their experience of violations of the human right to water, wanted to take the opportunity to flag these concerns with your office.”

To read more about the impacts that fracking and potash mining have had on Penobsquis, see these articles:

New Brunswick Chapter of A Fractivist’s Toolkit:

Hydraulic fracturing and water concerns in New Brunswick:

NEWS: Giles with Penobsquis residents as they raise water concerns:

NEWS: Penobsquis residents seek compensation for loss of well water: