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WIN! Amherst town council rejects fracking wastewater disposal plan

The town council of Amherst, NS has decided to abandon plans to accept fracked wastewater.

The town council of Amherst, NS has decided to abandon plans to accept fracked wastewater.

The Council of Canadians applauds the news that Amherst town council has abandoned its plan to accept fracking wastewater for disposal in its sewage system.

CBC reports, “Amherst has decided against taking in 30 million litres of treated fracking wastewater, the bulk of it from shale gas operations in New Brunswick. The company that treats the water offered the town half a million dollars to dump it in their sewage system. Officials initially said yes to the plan, but changed their minds after hearing opposition from residents. For weeks, the mayor and council received emails and letters against the deal. Town officials held a closed meeting on Sunday, and decided to immediately stop negotiations with the company, Atlantic Industrial Services.”

When the news first broke several weeks ago that the Town of Amherst had said yes to the plan, the Council of Canadians stated that we opposed the plan to move truckloads of fracking wastewater on the TransCanada Highway to be disposed of through the Amherst wastewater system which is situated near the Tantramar Marshes and the LaPlanche River.

We highlighted Amherst is located on the northeast end of the Cumberland Basin, an arm of the Bay of Fundy. We also encouraged our supporters in Cumberland County to attend a November 3 public meeting on the matter meeting to express their opposition to the plan. (CBC reported that about 100 people turned out in the small community for that meeting.) And we posted the names and email addresses of the six Amherst town councilors who were scheduled to make their final decision about this on November 10 along with critical questions to ask them about the plan.

Our Atlantic regional organizer Angela Giles also spent hours on the telephone with Amherst residents upset with the plan to accept this wastewater. And our Halifax-based organizer Tori Ball notes, “Our Moncton chapter was active in sharing information between Dieppe and Amherst, helping to create unity between the communities.” Atlantic Industrial Services has been in talks with the town of Dieppe who are looking at a similar offer to accept this fracking wastewater.

Between September 2012 and May 2013, the Council of Canadians campaigned against another proposal from Atlantic Industrial Services to dump 4.5 million litres of ‘treated’ frack-wastewater down the sewer system of the town of Debert in Colchester County. In that situation, the Sewer Use Appeals Committee for the Municipality of Colchester unanimously decided against accepting the wastewater. We applaud this win by the residents of Amherst and will continue to support the residents of Dieppe in their efforts to protect their water against these threats.

The Council of Canadians calls for a ban on fracking for numerous reasons including the wastewater it produces, as well as its impacts on drinking water and climate change.

Further reading
Amherst, NS to vote on fracked wastewater on November 10 (November 2014 blog)
WIN! Colchester rejects dumping frack-wastewater in their sewer system (May 2013 blog)