Encana (name-changed to Ovintiv after running away to the USA, but still frac’ing and harming Canadians) was required to obtain licence under The Water Act to divert fresh water from gas wells Encana frac’d into fresh water zones around Rosebud, which would have required consulting with the community to be harmed.
I expect Encana knew there’d be huge outcry and protests, so the company violated The Act instead, and didn’t bother getting the mandatory licence. This kept their illegal aquifer diversions and fracs nicely secret, enabled by AER and Alberta Environment.
Encana also violated AER’s noise directive and completed fraudulent noise studies in response to numerous noise complaints in my community and violated my privacy rights intentionally, putting my safety at risk. The regulator altered data to help Encana with the fraud.
I notified the regulators of Encana’s law violations. They did not order the company to stop violating my legal right to quiet enjoyment of my home or violating our drinking water or the law. AER bullied me and violated my Charter rights instead, trying to scare me into silence. AER’s lawyer Rick McKee – fists clenched like a thug working for the mob – ordered me to stop distributing my frac news mailouts (which I refused). There’s been a steady run of horrific deregulation since by AER, Alberta Environment, then PM Steve Harper, etc, with happy blessings from PC, NDP and UCP. Companies get to make whatever noise they want and take what water they want, extract it how they want, complete with unmitigated cumulative harms to communities, families, fish and wildlife.
Welcome to Alberta, aka Encana-Ovintiv, Rule of Law.
Red Deer County residents decry lack of public consultation over ‘enormous’ river water withdrawals, Noise, light, diesel emission complaints were made to the Alberta Energy Regulator by Lana Michelin, Feb 28, 2020, Red Deer Advocate
An airline pilot said deafening noise created by an energy company’s pump as it draws water from Red Deer River has forced him to sleep at a hotel some nights.
Red Deer County resident Martin McNally is required to get a certain amount of rest between flights. This was never a problem, he said, until Vesta Energy began drawing water from Red Deer River, near his home on C & E Trail in December.
He discovered the Calgary-based company obtained permission to withdraw half a cubic metre of water per second from Red Deer River — “an enormous amount,” says McNally.
It will be used for deep well injections for oil fracking.
This kind of high-pressure process, used to break apart sub-surface rock, was found to have caused a 4.18 magnitude earthquake near Sylvan Lake in March 2018. As a result, the Alberta Energy Regulator suspended Vesta Energy’s activities in that area.
McNally discovered that Vesta was approved for at least 18 months of river water withdrawals through back-to-back temporary licenses.
The licence approval for a year of water withdrawals, starting in June 2020, is for “diverting up to 900,000 cubic metres from the river for oil and gas drilling and horizontal hydraulic fracturing.”
McNally was told no public consultation is required by the AER, since the company has not gone through the permanent licensing process.
He and other C & E Trail residents are concerned they were never told anything about the project before it started up across the river from them.
“Everybody’s concerned about the water,” Everyone will quickly learn that the UCP, AER, Alberta Environment and industry don’t give a damn about the rule of law (unless it suits their wants and needs), us, our environment, loved ones or our drinking water said Louise Becker, who with her neighbour, Diane Walker, wants to know more about possible effects on the river.
Red Deer city Coun. Lawrence Lee believes the company should be fully consulting with neighbours, as well as sharing expert information around environmental concerns. “Should” is industry’s and its enablers’, CAPP, AER and Alberta Environment, favourite escape hatch word. Politicians at all levels use the word frequently because they know it results in zero action and chanting it costs companies no money.
Vesta had initially applied for a permanent licence to withdraw six million cubic metres of water annually from Red Deer River. Lee compared this to having another 80,000-person city springing up upstream of Red Deer — which gets its drinking water from the river. Water used by cities is not permanently removed from the hydrogeological cycle; 25-75% of water used to frac is.
Synergy Synergy Synergy talk ahead! It enables industry harming water ways and families! Like his neighbours, C & E Trail resident Zoltan Zubko supports the oil and gas industry, but also values the river as a vital water source. He said, “We need to be careful about what we do.” There is no regulation anywhere that will make frac’ing safe, or mitigate the atrocious permanent loss of water needed to sustain life and fight fires!
Vesta’s water pumping began before Christmas, and McNally described the operation as creating a massive vacuum cleaner-like noise, day and night.
Until recently, noise readings were hitting 80 decibels — more than twice the approved nighttime noise level of 35 decibels, and much higher than the 45 decibel daytime limit, he added.
Since his complaint, Vesta installed noise barriers. But flood lights from the operation still bounce off low-hanging vapour clouds, produced by the pumps, lighting up the area at night, said McNally.
McNally is bothered by the diesel and light pollution and wonders about its effects on wildlife, including endangered bald eagles in the area.
He’s also concerned about the water extraction method used by Vesta. He’s seen open pools on the frozen river, and fears the company is “boiling” water at these spots to keep it from icing over. He believes that aquatic life could be at risk.
There’s also worry about the spill potential of large diesel tanks sitting on the riverbank.
Vesta released this statement on Friday regarding the public concerns raised: “Vesta is operating within the conditions of the water licence authorized by the AER.” Of course it is! AER’s conditions for water diversion licences are to protect the oil and gas industry, never our water. They protect profits for mostly rich foreigners, but Kenney will never investigate or harass them via his War Room or Witch Hunt.
The company is working with both the residents and the regulator “to ensure our operations remain both safe and compliant.” Additional steps were taken to reduce sound and lighting impacts, stated Vesta.
“The health and safety of employees, contractors, and communities near our operations is paramount.” The usual deceptive frac spin which translates into: Bla bla bla, go away, shut up, no matter what you say or do we will rape you and your water for years, bla bla bla, with AER’s help and UCP’s belching blessings. Bla bla bla, PS, we will renege on paying our taxes and rent to landowners too cause we know KKKenney and the corrupt, industry-controlled Surface Rights Board and courts will let us! Bla bla bla, safety is paramount, bla bla bla.
Red Deer County, Alberta Environment and the Alberta Energy regulator have heard public complaints about the project.
County Mayor Jim Wood said the municipality has no control over energy projects.
Connor Doane, external relations adviser for the AER, said a Feb. 20 inspection was done of Vesta’s operations on the Red Deer River following two public complaints.
The company was found to be in compliance with AER requirements, said Doane, adding “Vesta has since worked with the AER and the individuals that filed complaints to resolve these concerns.” “Resolve these concerns” is industry slang for how to synergize (bribe) you quiet, and when that fails, shame and or threaten you into taking the abuse silently.
Alberta Environment said it’s provided the AER with a directive according to the Water Act for how it is to protect Alberta’s aquatic ecosystems while issuing water licences for energy developments on behalf of government. The directive “has stringent requirements for demonstrating the need for water and reporting water use.” Neither of which will protect water for wildlife, fish or Albertans and those who live downstream from Alberta.
Refer also to:
Night time frac harm enabling by the Calgary Herald: 2012: Stephen Ewart – previously worked at Encana:
… Fracks – which, unlike drilling, are only performed in daylight….
Watch a night frac in Rocky View County, Alberta in FrackingCanada’s short film HOME at 4:10 Min.
″They are fracking all night tonight just because they want to watch the game tomorrow….”
“You can’t be videotaping”
“Why can’t I videotape?”
“Well, It’s against the rules.”
“I am on the road.”
“Oh really, ya, since when?”
“Cause we’re having problems with media.” …
“Don’t you want to be transparent? Don’t you want the world to know?”
Night Frac in Alberta, Mountain View County, FrackingCanada.
The lights are blinding and shine into homes when families are trying to sleep. And then there’s the noise, the rumbling traffic, the deadly fumes, and the lies, the never ending lies.
Diana Daunheimer: “It’s clear, the UCP doesn’t give two cents about public health, environmental protection, liability management, property rights, industrial compliance, sustainable water management or emissions mitigation. The UCP are petrol molls, simple as that.”
2012: Pump for taking water out of the Bow River for frac’ing
Premier Jason Kenney gives oil & gas industry $30 million gift from taxpayers to attack concerned citizens courageous enough to speak out, Gives not one penny to fix Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers frac’d illegally by Encana, covered-up by “No Duty of Care” AER
2012: Equipment for taking water out of the Bow River for frac’ing
Frac Water Orgy Announced by AER’s Mark Taylor (ex-manager Encana who lied to Rosebud, said Encana would never frac their drinking water). No Wonder Alberta Environment Took Water Licences Away from Farmers/Ranchers: AER grants 10 year blanket approval water licences; Companies need not know where they will frac, or how much they will frac or where they’ll get their water from. Companies “expected” to look at sources other than fresh drinking water, eg hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater, but not if contaminated with methane!
Where did AER’s Executive VP Mark Taylor go? He was Encana manager when the company illegally frac’d Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, then lied about it to 200 concerned community members, promising Encana would only frac far below fresh water zones (same lie touted by frac’ers everywhere), after area water wells had already gone bad, and were being investigated by – of course – the criminal, with regulator and govt blessings.
W. Va: Prenter Camp, Boone County community, out of water with nowhere to turn. How much has Fox Creek paid for hauled water? What happens when Fox Creek runs out of money? Will Encana step up like Bonavista was ordered to?
Volunteers delivering drinking water to frac’d families in the USA. Have you seen any Alberta churches kind or caring enough to bring water to frac’d families here? I haven’t.
Is AER making those who “leave” sign gag orders with payouts to keep secret the dirty goings on at the “Brotherhood” and Orphan Well Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Club? Nicely enabled by Alberta gov’t pretending to “clean” house while ramping up deregulation for industry to pollute and harm more?
A proportion (25% to 100%) of the water used in hydraulic fracturing is not recovered, and consequently this water is lost permanently to re-use, which differs from some other water uses in which water can be recovered and processed for re-use.
Sign NW of Calgary, Alberta.
In Alberta, industry gets and permanently removes a lot of fresh water from the hydrogeological cycle forever, for free.
And then, there’s Vesta’s frac quakes:
Alberta: AGS confirms frac’ing caused 4.18M earthquake that rattled many homes from Sylvan Lake to Red Deer last March, knocked out power to 4,600 customers, and caused subsequent 3.13M and smaller cluster of quakes. “Complaints of damage from the event were received.” And a water well was damaged by frac’ing near Sylvan.
Vesta Energy Ltd update on 4.6M fracquake near Red Deer March 4, 2019 that knocked out power to 4,600 Fortis Alberta customers, some reports of damage including to home driveway and underground electrical line.
Rimbey-area landowner, Stan Pederson, experienced damages to driveway and underground electrical line (requires $2,500.00 repair) at time of Vesta’s 4.6M frac quake; is worried area water wells might have been cracked by the quake felt 50 km away. What about cracks to energy well bores? How many are leaking hydrocarbons into groundwater and or to surface because of frac quakes?
4.6M earthquake, 1 km in depth, most powerful yet in central Alberta, hits SW of Red Deer, cracks walls in homes, knocks power out to thousands. Vesta Energy reports quake to AER, shuts down frac’ing. AER investigating. Geological Survey of Canada says looks like fra’cing didn’t do it.