CONCERNS OVER SHALE GAS EXPLORATION CONFIRMED IN MEMO FROM ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

OTTAWA –NDP Environment Critic, Megan Leslie (Halifax), expressed concerns about the injection of thousands of litres of chemicals into the ground where it could place soil and groundwater at risk. These same concerns were raised in a memo sent to Minister Peter Kent from the Deputy Minister of the Environment.

“The memo from the Deputy Minister clearly shows there is a credible risk of contamination of groundwater wells resulting from hydraulic fracturing,” said Leslie. “Despite the warnings, it is appalling to see that the Minister is refusing to impose a stricter control over the industry in order to disclose the nature of the chemicals and their consequences on the environment.”

While the information from the Environment Minister sheds new light on the potential negative consequences on our natural resources, Canada’s oil and gas industry hopes that new environmental studies and a greater transparency will reduce public fear of the industry.

“The government says it’s doing studies, but the reality is that this is and has been an ongoing issue and they need to take action,” said Leslie. “The government promised regulations over a year ago, but haven’t produced any. Why are they delaying, particularly when industry has already stated their openness to issues like disclosure of chemicals and the establishment of best practices?.”