Ground Water Canada

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N.B. Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing invites submissions


September 28, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

Fredericton – New Brunswick’s Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing is calling for public submissions on whether the conditions to lift the province’s moratorium on shale gas development can be met.

New Brunswick individuals and groups to make submissions and/or request a meeting with the commission in relation to the five conditions set out in its terms of reference, said the New Brunswick government said in a news release.

The conditions are as follows:

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  • The social licence to proceed.
  • Clear and credible information about the impact of hydraulic fracturing on public health, the environment and water, allowing the government to develop a country-leading regulatory regime with sufficient enforcement capabilities.
  • A plan in place that mitigates the impact on public infrastructure and that addresses issues such as waste water disposal.
  • A process in place to respect the duty of the provincial government to consult with First Nations.
  • A mechanism in place to ensure that benefits are maximized for New Brunswickers, including the development of a proper royalty structure.

The commissioners, Marc Léger, John McLaughlin and Cheryl M.G. Robertson, are interested in hearing from any and all residents who wish to contribute to the dialogue. They are particularly interested to hear from their fellow New Brunswickers who have direct knowledge of the shale gas industry as workers and/or service providers; live near possible well sites; have experience and/or knowledge, either formal or informal, in the following areas: 

  • Aboriginal rights
  • air and/or water quality and safety
  • New Brunswick’s geology
  • land management
  • North American energy markets
  • public health
  • public infrastructure
  • public safety and emergency planning
  • regulatory regimes
  • socio-economic impacts
  • wastewater treatment and management

All submissions will be made public on the commission’s website. To facilitate this, all submissions should be sent in digital format.

The website is the primary method of connecting with residents, the release said. The commissioners believe transparency is essential to building trust and they will practise that by posting:

  • weekly updates on their work, taking the time to reflect on what they are learning;
  • questions for the audience to consider. They welcome feedback via email and they will post this correspondence on the website;
  • all written submissions from individuals and stakeholder groups;
  • short summaries of meetings and presentations by residents and stakeholder groups to the commissioners;
  • links to the many documents, articles and studies they are reading as they prepare their final report; and,
  • the minutes from their deliberations, to further inform New Brunswickers of the issues they are working through.

The commission was convened in March 2015 and has been given a 12-month mandate to complete its work.