Fracking harms water supply

Response to letter “More than 175,000 wells have been hydraulically fractured over the past 60 years in B.C. and Alberta..."

Dear Sir:

Geoff Morrison of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers writes in the June 5, 2013 The Terrace Standard that, “More than 175,000 wells have been hydraulically fractured over the past 60 years in B.C. and Alberta without a single documented case of harm to drinking water …”

A Duke University study of the impact of hydraulic fracking on drinking water was released in May, 2011. “In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale gas extraction. In active gas-extraction areas (one or more gas wells within 1 km), average and maximum methane concentrations in drinking-water wells increased with proximity to the nearest gas well and were 19.2 and 64 mg CH4 L−1 (n¼ 26), a potential explosion hazard….”

American industry is also aware of the problems of leaking wells: The Tyee reports, “According to Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield company, there are problems galore. In 2003, the company reported that 43 per cent of 6,692 offshore wells tested in the Gulf of Mexico by U.S. regulators were found to be leaking.”

And Jessica Ernst who lives just east of Calgary is suing Encana and the Alberta Regulatory Board for $33 million, claiming there’s enough methane in her water from fracking that she can ignite it.

Not only does Mr. Morrison’s letter ignore these facts, it focusses exclusively on the money and jobs to be had by selling off our natural gas. He does absolutely nothing to address the concerns many BCers, not just those in the Kispiox Valley, have about the environmental impact of running seven proposed pipelines down sensitive river valleys and of increasing tanker traffic down our coastline, never mind the threat fracking poses to groundwater.

 

Andrew Williams, Terrace, B.C.

 

 

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