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WIN! Moncton says no to fracking in Turtle Creek watershed

The Canadian Press reports that, “City council in Moncton wants the New Brunswick government to protect the city’s drinking water by not allowing a controversial method of extracting natural gas. The city is worried about the potential impact on its regional water source. Council has passed a resolution requesting that no exemptions for oil and gas exploration or drilling in or around the Turtle Creek watershed be granted by the province.”

In a CBC radio interview on October 25, I stated that, “Sackville recently voted to deny a mining company the rights to conduct seismic testing on town-owned land in the Sackville basin due to concerns about fracking. We would ask Moncton to look to Sackville as an example.” Additionally, Atlantic regional organizer Angela Giles contacted Moncton councillors before yesterday’s vote to encourage them to support a ban on fracking within Moncton city limits.

The Times & Transcript adds that, “The City of Moncton doesn’t want anyone drilling for oil or natural gas within the Turtle Creek watershed, which supplies the region’s drinking water. Watersheds are protected by the provincial government, so city council is asking the province to not allow any oil or gas drilling in, or even near, the watershed that supplies drinking water to more than 120,000 Metro Moncton residents. The resolution, proposed by Councillor Paul Pellerin, passed unanimously during last night’s city council meeting.”

“Provincial legislation does not allow for oil and gas exploration in a watershed such as Turtle Creek. However, the province does have the right to grant exemptions to that rule. The resolution, seconded by Coun. Daniel Bourgeois, specifically asks the province to not grant any exemptions.”

WATER SALES

“It was Pellerin who discovered the city was selling municipal water to a trucking company that was in turn delivering it to large-scale gas explorations east of Sussex, where a controversial process known as fracking is used. Some of the measures that will be recommended by the committee, Pellerin said, include restrictions on what city water can be used for and geographical restrictions on where any water sold can be used. City council can expect to have those recommendations and possibly more pertaining to the sale and use of Moncton’s water early in the new year.”

And the CBC reports that, “Moncton council expressed concerns recently about whether it should sell water from its reservoir to a company that is mining in the Elgin area. The water is being used by Apache Canada in a contentious mining process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, at its mine in the Elgin area. …As many as eight tanker trucks are leaving Moncton each day full of water that is destined for the Elgin area. The Council of Canadians have encouraged the city to halt its bulk water sales. Coun. Paul Pellerin said the city must stop selling its water to the mining company in the future.”

As noted in the CBC report above, the Council of Canadians has been demanding that Moncton stop selling its drinking water to Apache Canada, a US-owned mining company, for hydraulic fracturing testing in the Frederick Brook formation in the Elgin area in southern New Brunswick. This past Friday we sent an open letter to the mayor and all members of city council calling on them to stop selling water for fracking and asking for fuller public debate on these issues. Read the letter here.

The news reports can be read at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/greenpage/environment/moncton-council-urges-nb-government-to-prevent-natural-gas-fracking-108297394.html, http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/front/article/1310072, and http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/11/16/nb-moncton-mining-turtle-creek-concerns-559.html#ixzz15S4IP3Fu.

For campaign blogs on the Moncton situation, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?s=moncton+%2B+fracking.

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