WIN! In 'major reversal' Colchester to ban dumping of fracked wastewater

Colchester CountyThe Chronicle-Herald now reports, "The county approved in principle last week a policy change that would prevent the future disposal of fracking waste water into the municipal sewer system. That policy will go to council for a vote by the end of this month. [Ramesh Ummat, the county’s chief administrative officer] said it’s a major reversal. ...The in-principle change to the policy is to be ratified at the next council session in two weeks time." That means the confirmation vote will likely be on Thursday January 29.

While this does not stop a current application to dump fracked wastewater in that community, it does signal reason for hope that will be defeated too.

The newspaper reports, "A Colchester County sewer use appeals committee will mull over more than 20 submissions that contest the disposal of millions of litres of hydraulic fracturing waste water into the county’s sewer system." To read the Council of Canadians submission on this, please click here.

The news article adds, "[The county's chief administrative officer] said a February deadline for the committee to reach a final decision has been extended until the end of April, giving the five-member committee time to hold a public meeting." It will be this appeals committee that makes the decision on the dumping of the fracked wastewater. "Extending the decision deadline by more than two months will allow the committee to come up with a venue and a process for a public meeting, Ummat said." The date for this public meeting should be determined this week and is expected to take place in late February.

But already Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade has posted on Facebook, "Fracking waste water currently in retention ponds in Debert will not get Colchester County Council approval to be dumped into our Bay of Fundy or waste treatment facility as told to me by County Council Members."

In 2013, the Council of Canadians fought against a similar proposal in the county. In March of that year, the county's direct of public works approved the discharge of 4.5 million litres of fracking wastewater into the sewer systems of Colchester County. But many opposed this decision and by May 2013 the sewer use appeals committee had unanimously overturned that decision. In its decision, the committee declared, "it is not the role of the Municipality to allow the Bay of Fundy to be a petri dish for fracking wastewater."

The Council of Canadians encourages people to ensure Colchester County council votes to ban the dumping of fracked wastewater at the end of this month and against the current proposal to dump fracked wastewater at the public meeting expected next month.

Further reading
Sipekne'katik oppose dumping of fracking wastewater in Colchester County (December 2014 blog)
Feds missing in fracking wastewater debate (December 2014 blog by Emma Lui)
WIN! Colchester rejects dumping frack-wastewater in their sewer system (May 2013 blog)