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NEWS: Environment Commissioner warns about fracking

CBC reports, “Chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process — commonly called fracking — were of particular concern to Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan in his last report as auditor of Canadian environmental regulations that was tabled today in the House of Commons.”

“The federal government told Vaughan that fracking is an emerging issue, and it is only now looking into it. Provinces, for the most part, are responsible for regulating the oil and gas sector, but Ottawa is in the driver’s seat when it comes to toxic substances. …The government doesn’t have a good handle on the type of chemicals the industry uses in the process (but) it has developed a partial list of 800, of which 33 are toxic.”

The news article adds, “Ottawa will finish a review on fracking in March 2014.”

In October 2011 when the federal reviews were launched, it had been estimated that they would be completed by April 2013, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11506. Additionally, dating back to September 2010, news reports have noted that both the environment minister and the natural resources minister have been warned by their departments that fracking involves excessive water use, the risk of groundwater contamination, greater greenhouse gas emissions, increased truck traffic, and extensive habitat fragmentation for wildlife, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11437.

In 2011, the Calgary Herald reported, “NDP environment critic Megan Leslie cited fears the government is using reviews as a ’stalling tactic’ to delay any substantial regulations on development. ‘I find it hard to believe that Environment Canada and that the government doesn’t already know a lot of the information,’ Leslie said.”

For related reading, please see:
UPDATE: Council of Canadians helps launch ‘Don’t Frack PEI’ coalition, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=19104
NEWS: Harper government has the power to stop fracking in Canada, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12238
MEDIA RELEASE: Fracking review flawed, relies on industry information, http://canadians.org/media/water/2013/25-Jan-13.html
All campaign blogs on fracking, http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22fracking%22
Campaign web-page, http://canadians.org/fracking