Bouctouche, New Brunswick (December 4, 2018) – Opposition Liberals are concerned that the Conservative government has decided to lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing without a concrete plan for the disposal of fracked wastewater.
Following the Speech from the Throne last Friday, Premier Higgs announced that he will meet with Corridor Resources CEO Steve Moran this week to discuss the resumption of hydraulic fracturing before the end of this year. The Conservative leader, however, did not say how his government intended to dispose of wastewater discharge and treatment despite being asked during question period this past week.
“The disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing is worrisome to many New Brunswickers. That’s why our liberal government had amended the Clean Environment Act to prohibit the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing into municipal wastewater treatment systems, ” said Benoit Bourque, Liberal Advocate for Resource Energy Development and MLA for Kent South.
Nova Scotia presently has a ban on the disposal of fracked wastewater. According to an independent study conducted by Cape Breton University, each fracked well requires the use of seven million litres of water. Corridor Resources announced in November that it intends to operate approximately 40 wells in the Sussex area, representing 280 million litres of contaminated water to be treated.
“Many New Brunswickers have concerns about the disposal of the fracked wastewater. We urge the conservative government to continue to the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and to continue our ban on the disposal of fracked wastewater in New Brunswick’s municipal water treatment systems.” said Benoît Bourque.
The five conditions of the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing introduced by the Liberal government in 2015 include ensuring that: 1) A social license is in place. 2) Clear and credible information is made available about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on our health, environment and water allowing us to develop country-leading regulatory regime with sufficient enforcement capabilities. 3) A plan is put in place that mitigates the impacts on our public infrastructure and that addresses issues such as wastewater disposal. 4) A process is in place to respect our obligations under the duty to consult with First Nation. 5) A mechanism is in place to ensure that benefits are maximized for New Brunswickers, including the development of a proper royalty structure.