Friday, September 16, 2011

Pembina Institute Report on Shale gas in British Columbia


The Pembina Institute has published a report authored by Karen Campbell and Matt Horne, and titled: Shale Gas in British Columbia: Risks to B.C.’s water resources.

The report, which refers to developments in Québec on a number of issues, makes a series of recommendations that can be summarized as follows:

1. Integrate water withdrawals for energy production in basin plans that include all other uses;

2. Provide timely, regularly updated and easily accessed public information on all water allocations, actual water withdrawals under permits, licences or other means, actual water uses and flowback water;

3. Require water licences for all ground water withdrawals;

4. Place licensing powers and oversight for all water takings within a single B.C. ministry;

5. Require companies to publicly disclose chemicals and additives used in hydraulic fracturing;

6. Undertake an independent audit of oil and gas water use in B.C. to assess the accuracy of company reporting;

7. Undertake improved public mapping of groundwater to allow for informed environmental assessment of oil and gas exploration and production;

8. Ensure transparent and comprehensive compliance and enforcement including automatic prosecution for serious overdue deficiencies;

9. Review and strengthen requirements for drilling, hydraulic fracturing and water storage and disposal as well as the liability of producers in case of contamination.

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