Reportedly, the BC government received Intrinsik’s Frac Health Report in March 2014
MUST WATCH: Huntington asks Health Minister Terry Lake on health impacts of fracking in BC 4:41 Min by Vicki Huntington, February 19, 2015
Names the ministries involved in keeping the report from the public. [Is the oil and gas industry “editing” Intrinsik’s report before allowing the government to make it public?]
In the Paris Guardian
Report on fracking health effects not disclosed by Health Minister, The Provincial Health Ministry has been accused of withholding results of the latest scientific research on how oil and gas industry exploration and development here in the northeast impacts human health, according to the Globe and Mail by Adam Steinberg, February 20, 2015, energeticcity
Independent MLA Vicki Huntington told the Globe that the suppression of data looks like a cover-up from a government which wants nothing to stand in the way of its ambitions to secure a new liquefied natural gas industry. “Northern British Columbians want to know whether the current regulation of the oil and gas industry does or does not protect their health,” MLA Huntington said. “The government has the information and has so far refused to release it.” However, Health Minister Terry Lake says the report, which has been on his desk since last fall, is still being studied by several government departments, but he hopes to release the results “soon.”
The government released a report in 2012, which compiled the concerns of northeast residents who believe health problems like asthma, bronchitis, and cancer are linked to the oil and gas activity in the area. This follow-up report is meant to assess if there is a scientific basis for those concerns, and the government has also promised to review whether its current regulations around the industry could be improved to better manage human health risks. MLA Huntington, who represents the Lower Mainland riding of Delta South, has been pushing for an investigation since she first met with concerned residents in the Peace region back in 2011. She says her office filed a freedom of information application, and after waiting 86 days was told she could not have even the raw data of the new report, much less its conclusions, because the information could be harmful to the financial interest of a public body. [Emphasis added]
B.C. Health Minister mum on report of fracking health effects by Justine Hunter, February 19, 2015, The Globe and Mail
B.C.’s Ministry of Health is withholding the results of scientific research on how oil and gas operations in the province’s northeast communities are affecting human health.
Health Minister Terry Lake said Thursday that a report, which has been on his desk since last fall [reportedly the report was given to the government in March 2014!], is still being studied by several departments in government and he hopes to release the results “soon.”
But Independent MLA Vicki Huntington says the suppression of data looks like a cover-up from a government that wants nothing to stand in the way of its ambitions to secure a new liquefied natural gas sector.
“Northern British Columbians want to know whether the current regulation of the oil and gas industry does or does not protect their health. The government has the information and has so far refused to release it,” she told the legislature.
Ms. Huntington has been pushing for an investigation since she first met with concerned residents in the Peace River region in 2011. The government has maintained that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is safe, but the large number of new wells being drilled in the region has created additional pressure to answer questions about the potential health impacts.
She said her office filed a freedom of information application that produced no results. After 86 days of waiting, she was told she could not have even the raw data, much less the conclusions, because the information could be harmful to the financial interest of a public body. [Department of Energy?]
The government released a report in 2012 that compiled the concerns of residents who believe their health problems, including asthma, bronchitis and cancer, are linked to the oil and gas activity around them. The follow-up report is meant to assess if there is a scientific basis for those concerns, and the government also promised to review whether its current regulations around the industry could be improved to better manage human health risks.
“I want to see whether the data show if the public concern is justified,” Ms. Huntington said.
The Health Minister would not promise to release the raw data. However, he said he will make the summary of the report public once all the relevant ministries have had a chance to respond internally. There are at least five ministries involved.
“We have applied scientific principles to analyze the possible health, operational and regulatory issues with oil and gas development,” he told the House. “The recommendations are being reviewed, and the different ministries are being briefed. We hope to be able to release that report in the very near future.”
In an interview, Ms. Huntington said she is disturbed that the province has allowed a huge increase in development in the region without any cumulative impact assessment.
“It’s a backward way of doing business and an unprofessional approach to the major resource demands of our time,” she said. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2015 02 23 advertisement in PA Observer-Reporter
2015: Cumulative frac harms: Who’s looking? Canada Water Network? Synergy group extraordinaire with Alberta Government Bev Yee on the Board who helped cover-up Encana fracing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers?
More information on above photo of Howard Hawkwood, Lochend, Alberta: FrackingCanada Into the Mouths of Babes
Slides from Diana Daunheimer presentations. Slide above shows tumour in her daughter.
Mommy, farmer, scientist, researcher, very limited to this scope of hydraulic fracturing right now, but it has been a very, very steep learning curve – but one that I feel has been necessary.
2015: How regulators “regulate” to make fracing safe: Let industry inject toxic frac waste into federally protected drinking water aquifers; “Levels of benzene up to 700 times federal standard have been found in waste water from fracking”
2014: New York State to ban fracking because of red flags to public health. Health Commissioner Howard Zucker: “Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports, my answer would be no.”
2014: Quebec’s Premier Declares Province-wide Shale Gas Ban after Environmental Review Board (BAPE) says Fracking Not Worth The Risk, “Too many negative consequences to the environment and society…risks to air and water quality…noise and light pollution”
2014: State of Science on Harms by Fracking to Public Health and Water: Health Professionals, Scientists Release Analysis of 400 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Fracking along with Major Scientific Compendium Update
Among the key findings:
- 96% of all studies published on health impacts indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
- 87% of original research studies published on health outcomes indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
- 95% of all original research studies on air quality indicate elevated concentrations of air pollutants.
- 72% of original research studies on water quality indicate potential, positive association, or actual incidence of water contamination.
- There is an ongoing explosion in the number of peer-reviewed publications on the impacts of shale or tight gas developments: approximately 73% of all available scientific peer-reviewed papers have been published in the past 24 months, with a current average of one paper published each day.
Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Cornell University, said, “In 2008, when New York State first declared a moratorium on fracking, only six peer-reviewed papers on the health and environmental impacts had been published. Now there are more than 400, and the vast majority show a clear and present danger. What’s more, many problems are unfixable by regulations of any kind. It was a wise governor who said ‘wait’ in 2008.”
2014: Council of Canadian Ministers of the Environment removes their important 2002 report on unconventional oil and gas impacts. It was uploaded to the Ernst vs Encana website in February 2015.
Bob Willard, Senior advisor at the Alberta Energy Regulator, agreed to speak about current regulations.
David Kattenburg: Why aren’t these things being monitored for in the gases that are coming out from flaring and incineration stacks?
Bob: The long list that you’ve identified would be the responsibility for monitoring of not only the Alberta Energy Regulator, but the Environment department themselves, and I would direct you once again to ESRD for them to identify what their plans are relative to updating those guidelines.
David: I have actually, I’ve tried valiantly I’d say to try to get them to explain to me why they have these guidelines that say all industry MUST conform to these guidelines, and then I said well why does directive 60 of the Alberta Energy Regulator only establish monitoring requirements for sulfur dioxide and he said: “speak to the Alberta Energy Regulator.”
Bob: Um, it is important, and this is something the Energy Regulator does lead, is capturing the metrics of the volumes of material, so we do have good metrics as to the volumetrics.
David: But essentially nothing about the composition of those gases, other than sulfur dioxide.
Bob: A totally accurate composition, I would certainly volunteer that no, we do not have a totally accurate comprehensive information on the flare composition rather, we have it for the uh volumes, but not necessarily for the compositions.
Recording of Glenn Solomon, lawyer representing the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER, previously ERCB) in the Ernst vs Encana lawsuit, giving legal advice to Ann Craft’s son Brent O’Neil, about hydraulic fracturing contaminating Ann’s well water and damaging her farm buildings and home.
Harper and his dog Redact
2014: Fracking might be as damaging as thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser warns in new report: “In all these and many other cases, delayed recognition of adverse effects incurred not only serious environmental or health impacts, but massive expense”
2014: UK Public Health Report Admits Harm for Residents Living Near Fracing: “lack of public trust and confidence, stress and anxiety from the uncertainty which could lead to poor mental wellbeing, noise related health effects, issues related to capacity for flowback waste water treatment and disposal”
2014: Alberta Health Services tells residents within 5 km of South Rosevear Gas Plant not to use water from their wells because of “possible” solvent contamination; Says nothing to residents living in danger from known explosive levels of methane contaminating well water and homes!
2014: Santos CBM in NSW Australia contaminates aquifer with uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water levels; Regulator does not test for thorium, radon and radium! Thorium and radon are known to cause lung cancer
2014: Salon interviews researchers Bamberger and Oswald: Fracking’s untold health threat: How toxic contamination is destroying lives, America’s natural gas boom has real consequences for children, animals, food and water
“Now it’s the cattle, soon it will be the people.”
“The tumours are inoperable, I am fighting as hard as I can.”
“No one gives a damn about the people. … The liability is on you and the community. And they lie about everything…. This was all planned strategy, from day one.”
“It’s lie after lie after lie.”
“Your air is compromised, your water is compromised, your soil is compromised.
The cattle, any animal coming out of a drilling field, its blood should be tested at the auctions, the markets. They’re not doing that.”
“I’ve got dairy farmers up in Bradford county…their water turned white. The DEP would not come up there and test. Guess what, that milk is being shipped.”
“They lost cattle…chickens…dogs…horse. They had calves abort. … They had high levels of arsenic in their water. DEP said, “Well, that’s from past farming practices.”
“You don’t know what it’s like until you live it.”
“There’s a keyword that industry uses, everything’s ‘anecdotal.'”
2014: Colorado Investigates a Spike in Fetal Abnormalities Near Natural Gas Drilling Site, A prevalence of anomalies such as low birth weight and congenital heart defects are found within a 10 mile radius of a concentration of gas wells
2014: Baytex Finally Successful, Gags & Settles Poisoned Alberta Families: Does a lawyer-touted “positive outcome” of displacing and gagging poisoned families, stop the poisoning? “Our house is contaminated…there’s a smell now…Part of the torture of all this is not only abandoning our farm, but the health experts…told us we shouldn’t bring anything (with us).”
2014: Harper Cuts: Environment Canada to develop world-class regulations on pollutants and “improve industry requirements for prevention, preparation, response and recovery efforts” on hazardous substances despite 42.2 per cent cuts to pollution and mitigation programs
2014: Heavily frac’d Hudson’s Hope, BC, issues water advisory: “A resident…observed a substance surfacing into the Brenot Creek.” Do not “use the water from Lynx Creek and Brenot Creek” for drinking water, livestock watering, irrigation … “At this time we cannot comment on the water quality of water wells that are within the proximity of the contaminated site.”
2014:“Rates of childhood leukemia and lymphoma in Flower Mound are significantly higher than expected,” University of Texas gas-drilling study re-examines link between fracking and Flower Mound’s ‘cancer cluster’
2014: Toxic pollution, odors caused by Baytex heavy oil operations in the Peace River area need to be eliminated says AER; Two-tiered AER? What about the AER saying nothing about Encana fracturing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers? What about the AER violating Ernst’s Charter Rights trying to cover up Encana’s unlawfulness?
2014: BIG SECRET: LOTS OF TAP WATER CONTAMINATION CASES CAUSED BY FRACING, HIDDEN FROM PUBLIC! Legal brief filed with court in Harrisburg, PA, regulator “practice” not to issue violation notice, fines, formal contamination determinations where shale gas/frac companies reach private (“gagged”) settlements with water well owners
Slides from Ernst presentations
2014: Federally commissioned report, California Council on Science and Technology: Fracking is at shallower depths than previously realized, “It turns out that they’re fracking right around the water table”
2014: With law violations, hazards, waste dumping, air noise land water pollution, permanent water loss, community division, adverse health impacts, lies, fatalities, enabling regulators politicians courts, massive subsidies, PR Panel urges industry to change frac ‘conversation’
Slide from Ernst presentations
Updated as of February 18, 2014
PDF version: List of the Harmed
2014: Fracing near Ponoka Alberta contaminates another drinking water supply: Ann Craft, business woman and landowner goes public after getting nowhere with 2.5 year old water contamination case and delivery to her home of toxic sour crude produced water as replacement drinking water
The researchers admitted they are not sure exactly where the leaking methane goes — into the water or the air, but neither alternative is a positive prospect in light of a number of incidences thought to involve the escaping gas. “These results, particularly in light of numerous contamination complaints and explosions nationally in areas with high concentrations of unconventional oil and gas development…should be cause for concern,” said the researchers in the paper.
References CAPP and AER propaganda, while excluding the most damning water contamination, health harm peer-reviewed studies and the 2012 Health Canada frac health hazard report!
Recommend proper hydrogeological testing/monitoring to track oil and gas industry contaminants. As of February 20, 2015, still not happening anywhere in Canada.
2014: Synergy and blanket approval to give industry free-for all fracking in Alberta! Watch out Fox Creek and the rest of Canada, Synergy is brainwashing controlled by industry, incredibly evil and works well
2014: Big Oil, Bad Air: Where has the College been all these years? Why not SUPPORT ALL ALBERTA DOCTORS treating citizens and workers poisoned by oil and gas? Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons tells Peace River doctors it will support them in face of intimidation
2014: Sulfolane (used to sweeten sour gas) leak at Bonavita Energy’s South Rosevear Gas Plant, Edson Alberta, contaminated drinking water, severe health harm experienced by Mersadese Royale, her husband and children; Family evicted after raising concerns publicly
2014: Harper government enabling the frac harm cover up? Environment Canada criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list saying not enough frac chemicals used – 362,000 litres of diesel invert lost underground near Alberta family home
2014 07 10: First release Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction) by Concerned Health Professionals of New York
2014: Governments across Canada failing to protect drinking water; Government betrays Ristigouche and 70 other Quebec municipalities that put bylaws into place to protect drinking water; Gastem attacks Ristigouche with $1.5 Million Lawsuit
2014: Broken trust: Alberta family without answers about Baytex’s health impacts, When an Alberta mom met with an ear-throat-and-nose specialist in Grande Prairie about oil-sands emissions pollution, his advice stunned her
Donald Davies, a Calgary-based expert, said levels of the toxic chemicals in emissions from Baytex operations are too low to cause the health problems reported by area residents. ….Davies, who was hired by the Alberta Energy Regulator for an expert opinion. “These people are not being poisoned,” Davies told the hearing….
Mr. Davies/Intrinsik, previously retained by Encana, the frac industry and the “No Duty of Care” AER to downplay industry’s toxic harms, was retained by the BC government to do the health report currently being withheld:
Intrinsik was hired by EnCana Corporation after a sour gas leak in 2009 and spoke with residents about how sour gas was affecting their health. “We felt during their presentation that they down-played the dangers of [sour gas] extremely well,”
The Peace Environment and Safety Trustees Society environmental group says they are concerned [Instrinsik] hired by the B.C. government to study oil and gas health risks in the Peace Region may be biased because of its previous work for the industry.
2013: B.C. school kids in danger, can suffer DNA damage illness from leaking sour gas several km away, yet B.C. allows wells within 100 m (~330 feet) of schools while Dallas City Council votes in 1,500 foot setback from homes and wells!
Yellow dots are wells; red dots are schools in the Dawson Creek/Fort St. John area.
More than 1,900 children at nine schools in British Columbia’s northeast are at risk from toxic sour gas tapped by wells either already drilled or planned for the province’s liquefied natural gas strategy, warns the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre.
2013: Where are the regulators in Alberta? Fed up with toxic fumes: families suffering ill health ask Peace River court for 8 month injunction to shut down 46 wells and 86 venting tanks owned by Baytex Energy
2013: Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in ground and surface water at fracking sites, Peer reviewed study of fracking sites in Garfield County Colorado finds chemicals linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer
2013: ConocoPhillips chemical data falls short, releases same report as previously, keeps some frac chemicals secret and does not list drilling, servicing, perforating chemicals which can be more harmful
Hold your breath, all night long. Night frac in Rocky View County, Alberta. FrackingCanada Fracking Rocky View County
2013: Alberta Environment needs to stop lying about water contamination: One billion litres of waste water contaminated Athabasca River with mercury levels 9 times more than normal, PAHs 4 times more than allowed
2013: Fracking produces annual toxic waste water enough to flood Washington DC, Growing concerns over radiation risks as report finds widespread environmental damage on an unimaginable scale in the US
2013: Kaiser kills Calgary Royal Oak drill and frac for oil 400 metres from homes, Residents in Calgary community celebrate after Kaiser Energy scrapped urban frac plans but worry 2,300 metres is not far enough
2013: Alberta Health Services to pay executive bonuses, says work ‘already done’ but refused to address concerns about serious negative health impacts caused by oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing
2013: Environment Canada asks industry to come clean on hydraulic fracking As of February 2015, it hasn’t happened yet.
2012: Hydraulic fracturing with gelled propane by Gasfrac/Crew Energy Inc./Caltex Energy Inc. contaminated groundwater near Grande Prairie: ERCB Investigative Report and groundwater monitoring by Alberta Environment
2012: First Study of Its Kind Detects 44 Hazardous Air Pollutants at Gas Drilling Sites, With gas wells in some states being drilled near schools and homes, scientists see a need for better chemical disclosure laws and follow-up research
For more information on above image: FrackingCanada No Duty of Care
2012: Alberta Health responds to Ernst’s query to Health Canada, the Council of Canadian Academies and Alberta Health about health harm caused by fracing:
“The issue has become embedded in the beliefs, attitudes and perceptions around the local and notion of a culture, of what a place means and what health means.”
… What is new about the shale gas boom, and what has most affected residents of the communities it touches, Perry said, has been the enormous scale and rapid pace of development, its close proximity to private homes, workplaces, churches, schools and other social centers…. “Individuals that are living in the midst of this type of development … are being asked to sacrifice, everything in some cases, for some greater good,”Perry said. … “I think the next step is to stop debating and to solve these problems,”
2012: B.C. gas-well health study by Intrinsik Environmental Sciences Inc. called into question [Intrinsik was retained by the BC government to conduct the health report currently being withheld]
Source: Slide 5 A Screening-Level Assessment Tool for Classifying Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids, A presentation to the PTAC 2012 Spring Water Forum by Donald B. Davies, Ph.D., DABT, Intrinsik Environmental Sciences Inc., May 28, 2012
2012: Identifying Health Concerns relating to oil & gas development in northeastern BC, human health risk assessment – phase 1 compendium of submissions, A report of the Fraser Basin Council to the BC Ministry of Health
2012: Health Canada completes their report on potential frac health hazards (drinking water and ambient air) but withholds it from the public.
Another concern with hydraulic fracturing is cumulative impact.
The hydraulic fracturing process can open up pathways upward to drinking water resources as faults and fractures naturally exist in the rocks. Moreover, the hydraulic fracturing process is not fully controlled and the time for fluid to migrate through the fractures is poorly understood.
In addition to these sources of air contamination, indoor air quality may also be affected by the use of contaminated drinking water (through volatilisation into the building).
The findings illustrate which aspects of the drilling process may lead to health problems and suggest modifications that would lessen but not eliminate impacts. Complete evidence regarding health impacts of gas drilling cannot be obtained due to incomplete testing and disclosure of chemicals, and nondisclosure agreements. Without rigorous scientific studies, the gas drilling boom sweeping the world will remain an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale. [Emphasis added]
2012: Doctors demand access to all health data on oilsands and other natural resource extraction projects, including shale gas Did they get any of this vital health data yet?
2011 09 21: The Council of Canadian Academies and Environment Canada to study hydraulic fracturing after harmed Albertans demand mortatorium More than a decade too late. The “studies” never materialized, they become incomplete literature reviews instead.
2011 08: Numerous ads taken out in local papers by harmed Albertans: “What Fresh Hell is This?” Citizens being frac’d, experimented on and suffering serious health harms, NW of Calgary, Alberta, demand frac moratorium
2011 06: Ottawa maintains right to intervene in shale “Indeed, the federal government has an interest and can involve itself when a threat is…reported,” Kent told the House of Commons
The technology for shale gas development has characteristics which partly show unavoidable environmental impacts, partly have a high risk if the technology is not used adequately and partly have a possible high risk for environmental damages and hazards to human health even when applied properly.
Slides above: November 18, 2011, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Simona Perry Presentation (33 Min) “It’s Like We’re Losing Our Love“
2010: EnCana Corporation facing criminal charges for deadly sour gas leak bought off with an insulting pittance: $250,000 in community safety projects
Yes, indeed, to massive, year after year deregulation
Click on slides to get complete presentation by Theresa Watson
Image from Catalize This
2007 05 08: Ernst testifies in Ottawa to Parliamentary Committee and beseeches the government to implement CEPA (1999) and enforce chemical disclosure of all toxic oil and gas industry drilling, fracing and servicing fluids. As of February 20, 2015, the Harper government still has not yet implemented CEPA or enforced the disclosure of toxic chemicals used in oil and gas wells and associated facilities.
2006 09 20: Ernst asks Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Nicolas Bayliss, to help her and the Rosebud community deal with drinking water contamination after Encana frac’d their aquifers. Ernst received none. As of February 2015, no federal or provincial health agency in Canada has provided any help.
2002: Council of Canadian Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and Dr. John Cherry (in 2012 appointed Chair of the Council Canadian Academies frac panel) release their report warning about unconventional oil and gas industry impacts and recommending baseline hydrogeological investigations to track oil and gas industry contaminants.
Thirteen years later, this is still not happening anywhere in Canada. In 2014, the CCME removed this important report from their website.