More than 100 people attended a public hearing on fracking in Carcross, Yukon, in September 2014 where speakers were overwhelmingly against the practice. After months listening to Yukoners, the legislative committee on fracking was split on whether it should take place in the territory.
WHAT WAS LEFT OUT OF THE YUKON REPORT!
The Panel left out any mention of the harmed landowners they met with in Red Deer Alberta, or the harms they suffered and continue to suffer.
These Albertans gave of their own time and costs to travel to Red Deer to present to the panel:
Harmed mother Diana Daunheimer and her children
Harmed mother Kimberly Mildenstein
Harmed ranchers, Ronalie and Shawn Campbell
Alberta Surface Rights Group Directors Glenn Norman and Rob Schwartz ]
After months of public consultations throughout the territory, the Yukon Legislature’s select committee on hydraulic fracturing could not come to a consensus on whether hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, should be allowed in the territory.
The six-member all-party committee released its report today.
It says the committee also could not agree if it can be done safely or whether the government needs the support of most Yukoners to allow it — but it has recommended that the government have the support of Yukon First Nations whose traditional territories are affected before allowing hydraulic fracturing.
A majority of the Yukoners who appeared before the anti-fracking committee were opposed to fracking.
The committee was set up last year to recommend what policies should be in place to regulate hydraulic fracturing in Yukon. … Between June and September the committee held hearings at the legislature and in communities around the territory. [The committee also traveled to Alberta where SPOG, Pembina Institute, the AER and CAPP tried to synergize the members. The committee also spent an evening in Red Deer hearing presentations of the many frac harms endured by Alberta landowners, including Rob Schwartz, director of the Alberta Surface Rights Group, Kimberly Mildenstein, Ronalie and Shawn Campbell, and Diana Daunheimer and her children. Committee members also attended a presentation in Calgary by harmed ranchers in the Lochend, NW of Calgary. Concerned Yukoners had asked the committee to allow Jessica Ernst to present to the committee in the Yukon. The committee Chair angrily refused. ]
The committee members did agree on 21 recommendations. They mainly recommend that more research be done on fracking’s impact on land, air and water. They also call on government to keep the public informed on the issue.
Sebastian Jones with the Yukon Conservation Society says the report’s recommendations highlight how little is known about the extraction technique and what effect it would have on the environment, and how much research needs to be done.
“If you read the recommendations as conditions that have to be met prior to fracking taking place in the Yukon, then to me at this stage it looks like we have a moratorium on fracking,” Jones says.
Summary of recommendations
- The Yukon government should have the support of the Yukon First Nations whose traditional territories are affected before allowing hydraulic fracturing.
- The Yukon government should consider options for continuing an informed public dialogue among Yukoners about the issue of hydraulic fracturing and the oil and gas industry more generally.
- The Yukon government should make all relevant environmental data open, transparent and available to the public.
- The Yukon government should respect First Nation final agreements and its ongoing obligations towards non-settled First Nations in addressing any issue related to hydraulic fracturing.
The Yukon government should conduct a thorough study of the potential economic impacts of developing a hydraulic fracturing industry.
- Baseline ground and surface water data should be collected for an appropriate period of time, in order to ensure that comprehensive data is available.
- A better understanding of the impacts and interactions of hydraulic fracturing fluids on groundwater should be developed.
- Requirements related to water intensive practices should be adhered to, even if non-water options for shale formation fracturing are to be considered.
- Adequate seasonal thresholds should be established to ensure the usage of fresh water does not exceed watershed capacity.
- Companies should be required to make public the chemicals and chemical compounds that would be used, including case numbers, volumes, percentages and concentrations prior to any hydraulic fracturing activity.
- Research should be conducted to demonstrate whether well integrity can prevent migration of liquids or gases in the long term.
Greenhouse gases and other air emissions
- Air quality baseline data should be collected for an appropriate period of time, in order to ensure that comprehensive data is available.
- Research should be done to develop a method to effectively measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions over the full life cycle of natural gas.
- Research should be conducted regarding fluid and gas leakage specific to the unique permafrost conditions in Yukon.
- Steps should be taken to ensure that volatile organic compounds are not released during development and production.
Land and seismic impacts
- Baseline data on wildlife and wildlife habitat should be collected for an appropriate period of time, in order to ensure that comprehensive data is available, and that the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on wildlife be studied.
- Baseline data on seismic activity should be collected for an appropriate period of time, in order to ensure that comprehensive data is available.
- The impacts of seismic activity in Yukon should be studied to evaluate the seismic risks caused by hydraulic fracturing and to avoid the development of flow paths to fresh water.
- The impacts of hydraulic fracturing on Yukon’s permafrost should be thoroughly researched. This would include research on the interaction between groundwater and surface water, regional and local scale pathway assessments and evaluation of permafrost degradation at wellheads.
Human health and social impacts
- Health related baseline data should be collected for an appropriate period of time, in order to ensure that data is available.
- Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health should be mandated to conduct a thorough human health risk assessment where hydraulic fracturing development is proposed in Yukon.
[Refer also to:
Yukon Frac Committee accused of bias, poor community engagement, Originally planned to meet with CAPP, Pembina Institute, Alberta Innovates (used to be Alberta Research Council), AER, NEB and no harmed Albertans!
Instead of listening to world-renowned geochemist Dr. Karlis Muehlenbachs, who co-authored a peer-reviewed paper documenting numerous cases of groundwater contamination in Alberta frack fields and warns of the risks from fracking, the Committee listens to the Pembina Institute and Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Pembina is a synergized group. Synergy is funded by the oil and gas industry and Pembina promotes regulations and the tired old story that natural gas is clean…. CAPP is Canada’s largest oil and gas industry lobby group that can’t learn to stop lying (Refer to The science is deafening industry’s gas migration for proof that CAPP is lying).
Prior to the Committee visiting Alberta, Yukoners Concerned publicly exposed the pro-fracking bias planned. With extremely short notice, Jessica Ernst was asked to arrange an informal meeting with a few harmed Albertans and one or two committee members. As it turns out, likely because of the bad publicity, all members attended. Two of the harmed who presented were Diana Daunheimer (Google: ernst encana daunheimers. Google: hydraulic fracking challenged 2013) and Kimberly Mildenstein (Google: ernst encana mildenstein eagle hill. Google: fracking canada no duty of care). Both are mothers. They traveled on their own time and costs; Diana with her children because her husband was away. Their names are not listed on the Committee website even though both advised that their names could be made public with Rob Schwartz and the Campbells, and their contact information given to the media. It is unconscionable that the Committee is censoring two Alberta mothers harmed by fracking! Peer-reviewed studies warn of the health risks from fracking (Google: the endocrine disruption exchange mr gowen. Google: human health unconventional natural gas resources) and it appears that these are unfolding as warned.
W-FIVE’s Fueling Fears was aired nationally in Canada on February 7, 2009. Two days later, the Harper government’s anti-terrorist squad began harassing Jessica Ernst but not the others interviewed. Clip uploaded to Youtube today (January 19, 2015).
February 12, 2009: Following a CTV W5 National News segment of Ernst’s explosively contaminated well water and the ERCB’s treatment of her, “undercover” Royal Canadian Mounted Police with Canada’s anti-terrorist squad arrive warrant-less at Jessica’s home in Rosebud to interrogate.
This post is for Alex