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Council of Canadians congratulates N.L. government, calls for an independent review of fracking

The Council of Canadians is congratulating the Newfoundland and Labrador government on its decision to establish a de facto moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the province, announced last month.

In a letter to the Premier and the Minister of Natural Resources, the Council writes: “We are writing to express our support for the de facto moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Newfoundland and Labrador as you announced in early November. That said, we believe it is important that you consider a more comprehensive, independent and unbiased review as opposed to a government-led initiative.”

The letter raises a number of concerns including exorbitant water use, the potential for water contamination, public health impacts, the lack of safe methods to dispose of fracking wastewater, and potential damage to fisheries as well as greenhouse gas emissions and their impacts on climate change.

Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow,  National Water Campaigner Emma Lui and Atlantic Regional Organizer Angela Giles congratulate the government on their recent announcement of a de facto moratorium and point to Nova Scotia where fracking is on hold until an independent and comprehensive review is complete.

Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking,” is a technique to extract natural gas from harder-to-access unconventional sources trapped in rock formations such as shale gas, coal bed methane and tight gas. Millions of litres of water and thousands of litres of chemicals are injected underground at very high pressure in order to create fractures in the rock allowing gas to flow up the well. There are many risks associated with fracking, including groundwater contamination from undisclosed chemicals, impacts on air quality and climate change, the lack of solutions to safely dispose of fracking wastewater and links to earthquakes.

The Council of Canadians is calling for a full ban on fracking in N.L. and in other Canadian and Indigenous communities.

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