Action needed on abandoned wells, group says by Karen Seidman, September 14, 2014, The Montreal Gazette
Activists are demanding the Quebec government move quickly to set up an action plan to address what they say is an urgent problem with abandoned wells that are leaking methane gas. At a news conference on Sunday, members of the Collectif Moratoire Alternatives Vigilance Intervention invited media to an abandoned well in Ste-Françoise to show methane gas is leaking and stressed hundreds of these wells throughout the province must be made secure.
The group says the well in Ste-Françoise and another nearby leak so much gas it is equivalent to the pollution emitted from 70 cars, meaning these wells could be an important source of greenhouse gases. “The government has said verbally it would take measures, but we need an action plan presented quickly,” said Pierre Bluteau, one of the members of the group. “We don’t know how many of these wells are leaking methane gas, but it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. We need a team of inspectors to assess the situation.”
There are more than 900 of these abandoned wells in Quebec, 600 alone in the St. Lawrence Valley — and it is believed many are not airtight.
“This is the government’s responsibility,” Bluteau said. “We must find a method to do something that works. It’s an urgent problem.” [Emphasis added]
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