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Council of Canadians joins opposition to Colchester County’s approval of fracking wastewater discharge

The Council of Canadians is appealing the decision by Colchester County in Nova Scotia to allow Atlantic Industrial Services to discharge fracking wastewater into the Debert sewer system.

The County approved the release of 4.5 million litres of the wastewater, which originates from fracking operations in Hants County from 2007. The Council of Canadians is urging the County Council to terminate the approval, consult with the public on how to safely dispose of the fracking wastewater and support a ban on fracking in the province.

The Council’s appeal states that: “We are alarmed that Colchester County is aware that Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) and the four chemicals in the BTEX group (Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl-benzene and Xylene) are present in the fracking wastewater and has still approved AIS’ plan.”

Atlantic Regional Organizer Angela Giles and Water Campaigner Emma Lui, who sent in the appeal, express grave concerns about the lack of baseline testing for other chemicals found in the fracking process including diesel, naphthalene, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, thiourea and benzyl chloride, some of which are carcinogens, hazardous air pollutants and on Environment Canada’s Toxic Substances List.

The Debert facility would treat and discharge the fracking wastewater into the Chiganois River, impacting communities along the Cobequid Bay and the Bay of Fundy.

The decision to release this waste has been met with widespread concern not only from Colchester residents, but also residents of Cumberland and Hants Counties, and several First Nations groups.  Many of these groups have also submitted formal appeals against this decision which were due yesterday afternoon. A decision on the appeal process must be completed by the original date of release of wastewater, permitted to take effect on May 26th, 2013.