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New Brunswick government releases new fracking rules


February 15, 2013
By The Canadian Press

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Feb. 15, 2013, Fredericton – New Brunswick is bringing in new ground
rules governing the shale gas industry with the release of 97
regulations that the provincial government says are aimed at protecting
the environment and creating jobs.

Feb. 15, 2013, Fredericton – New Brunswick is bringing in new ground rules governing the shale gas industry with the release of 97 regulations that the provincial government says are aimed at protecting the environment and creating jobs.

Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard says the rules will also protect the province's water and landowners.

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Under the regulations, exploratory wells will be required to have a double casing to protect surrounding ground water, and the use of open pits for the storage of wastewater will not be allowed.

If a water supply is compromised, the province would work to fix it and then go after the responsible oil or gas company for reimbursement.

Opponents of shale gas exploration are against the practice of fracking, which uses large volumes of water and chemicals to fracture layers of rock to release trapped gas.

They say fracking will compromise ground water, but the industry disputes that assertion.

The rules follow the release of a discussion paper last May and public consultation.

The government says rapidly changing technology will require ongoing updates of the rules.

Leonard says the new rules will govern oil and gas activity for about the next two years.