NOFRAC Welcomes Expanded Review

PRESS RELEASE:  The Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition (NOFRAC) welcomes the province’s recently announced independent review of fracking.

“We are pleased that the government has expanded the scope of the review to include social, economic, environmental and health impacts of hydraulic fracturing,” says Jennifer West of the Ecology Action Centre. “This is an important step in ensuring that the wide range of concerns about fracking and unconventional gas extraction are evaluated before decisions are made.”

NOFRAC is also encouraged by the government’s decision to empower the panel to consider all possible outcomes. “This is a welcome difference from the mandate of the internal review panel which had the stated goal of adopting new regulations based on ‘best practices,’ says Barb Harris, author of NOFRAC’s recent report, Out of Control: Nova Scotia’s Experience with Fracking for Shale Gas.

In a letter to government sent this morning, NOFRAC also outlined a number of concerns and suggestions about how the Wheeler panel will be established and operate.

“At this point, we have no information about what the panel will look like, who will be represented, and whether the public will be able to provide meaningful input into the process at all critical points,” says Mark Tipperman, also a member of the NOFRAC steering committee. “Our response to government points out the need for a truly representative process considering the fullest range of issues.”

NOFRAC’s response also points out that the issues that the panel will be considering are complex and wide-ranging. Tipperman notes, “ We have some concerns about a projected completion date in 2014. We hope that the panel is empowered to take all the time required to evaluate the issues thoroughly.”

NOFRAC also asks the government to clarify that no hydraulic fracturing will take place during the time of the review, and that the government will not grant any new leases for resource exploration or development which might involve hydraulic fracturing during the review period.

NOFRAC is a province-wide association of organizations and individuals who vigorously oppose hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas.

NS government press release, “Province Announces Independent Hydraulic Fracturing Review”.

Full response from NOFRAC to government Re: Wheeler Fracking Review Panel available here.

For further information contact:

Mark Tipperman, markrelawyer@gmail.com, (902) 542-0555 or (541) 963-5214

Jennifer J. West, Ecology Action Centre, GroundWater@ecologyaction.ca, (902) 442-5046

Barb Harris, info@frackingandhealth.ca, (902) 351-2490

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