Public Input Helps Shape Fracturing Review Scope

Energy/Environment

June 24, 2011 9:31 AM

The province released the final scope and public comments for its technical and policy review of hydraulic fracturing today, June 24.

The focus of the final scope has been expanded, based on input from Nova Scotians and the review committee.

"We want to thank those who provided written comments about what they want to see covered by our review of the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing," said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. "These comments helped us shape the final scope and better define the work to be completed by our review team.

"This work is being done when there is no hydraulic fracturing in this province and none anticipated. The review will focus on the science and management of the environmental impact of this technique so we can decide how to proceed in the future."

Most of 279 submissions received reflected areas identified in the draft scope, including potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater, surface water, soil, additives used in the process and storage and disposal of waste water.

"We are really pleased with the level of participation in this part of the review," said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau. "It was reassuring to see that people agreed with the main topic areas of the proposed scope and that we are on the right track.

"We have also expanded the scope to reflect the comments of Nova Scotians and to provide a clearer picture of how this review will proceed."

The final scope defines what will be considered under each topic area. It now includes a review of hydraulic fracturing in all oil and gas operations, public disclosure of additives used in the process and possible submission of engineered fracturing designs.

A number of issues raised during the public comment period such as air quality, best practices, safety and additives used in hydraulic fracturing, fall under existing provincial approvals and will be part of the review of provincial regulations.

To view the public submissions and final scope, go to www.gov.ns.ca/nse/pollutionprevention/consultation.hydraulic.fracturing.asp .

The review team, a group from the departments of Environment and Energy, will look at reviews and best practices in other jurisdictions and Nova Scotia's rules and regulations. Outside experts will be consulted as necessary.

Nova Scotians will have another opportunity to provide written comments on the committee's findings. The review is expected to be complete early next year.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province released the final scope and public comments

for its technical and policy review of hydraulic fracturing today

(June 24th).

     The focus of the final scope has been expanded, based on

input from Nova Scotians and the review committee.

     Most of 279 comments received reflected areas identified in

the draft scope.

     The final scope now includes a review of hydraulic

fracturing in all oil and gas operations, public disclosure of

additives used and possible submission of engineered fracturing

designs.

     The public submissions and final scope can be viewed on the

Department of Environment website.

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Media Contacts: Tracy Barron
                Department of Energy
                902-424-1757
                E-mail: Barrontb@gov.ns.ca

                Karen White
                Department of Environment
                902-424-2575
                E-mail: whitekl@gov.ns.ca