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Stop Alton Gas: “A slow motion showdown over natural gas”

The Canadian Press reported this week on the ongoing water protectors’ presence at the Alton Gas work site near Stewiacke, Nova Scotia.

CP writes, “For the past 12 years, a Calgary-based company has been planning to pump water from the river to an underground site 12 kilometres away, where it will be used to flush out salt deposits, creating huge caverns that will eventually store natural gas. AltaGas says the leftover brine solution will be pumped into the river, twice a day at high tide, over a two- to three-year period. The initial plan is to create two caverns about a kilometre underground. But the company has said it may need as many as 15 caverns, which would be linked to the nearby Maritimes and Northeast natural gas pipeline, about 60 kilometres north of Halifax.”

Dorene Bernard, Elder and grassroots grandmother from the Sipekne’katik district of Mi’kma’ki and board member of the Council of Canadians, has been fighting to protect the Shubenacadie River for years. “Our ancestors are buried along here … It has a very significant historical, spiritual and cultural relevance to who we are,” she told CP. ““We’re not going to let anyone destroy our water.”

Alton Gas has been planning to create these salt caverns since 2007, and the company’s original timeline suggested the project would be complete and operational by 2010. Now, eight years after that initial deadline, the company is still completely unprepared for further construction. As noted in my previous blog:

  • Alton Gas has officially delayed their project completion date to 2021.
  • All of the permits pertaining to Alton Gas’s gas pipeline are expired.
  • DFO has not given a Letter of Advice to Alton Gas about how to clear their mixing channel without harming fish or fish habitat.
  • Nova Scotia Environment has not responded to requests for clarification about the state of the overarching industrial permit. We think this is dubious.
  • The Mi’kmaq Nation has never given permission for Alton Gas to operate.

The resistance to Alton Gas continues, as does the defense of the Peace and Friendship Treaties. To support the Treaty Camp to Stop Alton Gas, you can donate to keep the camp running, visit the camp to offer moral support or material supplies (read this first if you plan to visit), or get in touch with me to discuss other ideas!