Canadian Fracking Lacks Credible Groundwater Monitoring: Expert

Between Environmental Officers being let go and Scientists still working afraid to speak out how are we to know what is happening to our groundwater except for individuals like Jessica Ernst standing up for us to speak out on our behalf. She doesn’t need us, we need her. Click here for the source of the article and stand behind and support Jessica Ernst if you can. Thanks.

 

 

The Alberta Energy Regulator has also reported the contamination of a shallow aquifer by fracking fluids in Grand Prairie in 2012.

Industry, government and media “mantras” of fracking as problem-free industry stem from a near total absence of good science and proper groundwater monitoring across North America, Cherry said.

“I found no cases where rigorous groundwater monitoring has been done at any fracking pad. Exactly zero, not a single one. Anywhere, ever,” Cherry said during his recent Toronto talk.

‘International delinquents’

Cherry also said that dismissive comments by Rich Coleman, British Columbia’s minister of Natural Gas Development, about water concerns and fracking weakened the industry’s social licence.

Last year, Coleman called a Vancouver Province editorial on the water impacts of shale gas fracking by geologist David Hughes and journalist Ben Parfitt as “unfounded and inaccurate.”

Cherry called such comments by a politician irresponsible. “As an expert, I know that British Columbia has invested very little money in the type of research and monitoring that it would need to make statements about shale gas being safe.”

An effective groundwater monitoring system, as first set out by Vancouver engineer Frank Patton in 1998, places measuring devices into specifically-designed wells that sample and track the movement of water contaminants over time and at various depths from a variety of locations. Not even the oilsands has set up such a basic system, said Cherry.

Given that industry spends millions of dollars on the fracking of unconventional deposits and often billions in certain regions, it is imperative that government funds basic research to protect groundwater and the atmosphere, he said.

Asked why government was reluctant to monitor a public resource as valuable as groundwater, the hydrologist replied that it costs money to monitor past societal mistakes. “Groundwater pollution develops slowly over years and decades. If there is anything that government can shrug off to the future, it’s groundwater.”  [Tyee]

 

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