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Report launch: Fracking in NS – the real story

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.

To read the Chronicle Herald on the report and launch, click here.

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!