Canada: Fracking Litigation Heating Up by Paula Boutis, Siskinds LLP, January 14, 2016, Mondaq
We’ve previously reported on the Ernst case, which yesterday was in the Supreme Court of Canada for argument of Jessica Ernst’s allegation that the Alberta Energy Regulator (Board) breached her Charter right to freedom of expression. Ms. Ernst alleges a breach on the basis that the Board refused to accept further communications from her, claiming she constituted a security threat.
The case is rooted in her claim (filed originally on December 3, 2007) against the Board, EnCana Corporation, and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta, alleging that her fresh water supply was contaminated by EnCana’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities; that the Board negligently administered the regulatory regime; and that Alberta, through the Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development department, owed her a duty to protect her water supply, and it failed to respond adequately to the activities of EnCana.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision will potentially have wide-ranging implications for any regulator that claims statutory protections for claims, even those alleged to be Charter breaches.
In recent U.S. litigation, citizens and environmental organizations successfully challenged the actions of the Village of Painted Post, in New York state, which authorized Painted Post Development to lease land to Wellsboro and Corning Railroad, for the construction and operation of a transloading facility and permitted the Village to sell approximately one million gallons per day of water from its water supply to SWEPI (Water Agreement). The water was to be loaded onto trains and then transported to Pennsylvania via rail, where it would be used for fracking.
The court agreed with the petitioners that the Village’s determination that the Water Agreement was not subject to an environmental assessment was “arbitrary and capricious”. This case has potentially wide application as other similar agreements may be now be considered void, impacting fracking operations who use the water, and for communities that need the revenue.
Fracking has been a hot button topic in Canada and the United States for several years now. … It is highly controversial over the environmental impacts, including potentially triggering earth quakes. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to (dates of articles and studies on fracing causing earthquakes range from 2000 to current):
Ernst vs AER Supreme Court of Canada hearing followed by 4.8M quake in AER’s Immoral Blanket Approval Frac Experiment Gone Wild, felt in St. Albert, 260km away
Frac Hell in Oklahoma: Endless quakes. “There’s no lack of conversation. There’s a lack of action.” Plumber blamed for gas leak in elementary school. Company says boiling oilfield waste alternative to injection wells, breathable air be damned
More Frac Quakes Rumble ‘n Rock Oklahoma: The Big Warning Causes Sleepless Night for Thousands. When will the shaking stop? When will the “regulator” regulate?
BC Regulator: 4.6 quake in August 2015 triggered by fracking largest on record, OGC finds while Geological Survey of Canada experts get their frack quake harm facts mixed up
NE BC: Monday’s 4.5 Magnitude frac quake, felt from Pink Mountain to Fort St. John (180 km), ‘likely’ caused by Progress Energy, OGC confirms
NINE STUDIES: US Geological Survey (USGS), University Colorado (UC), Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) studied sudden man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, found fracing is the causation
Former Oklahoma state seismologist Austin Holland confirmed industry pressure and conflicts of interest by state officials handling swarms of frac waste quakes shaking & damaging the state
Special Report by Andrew Nikiforuk: Fracking Industry Has Changed Earthquake Patterns in Northeast BC, Impact on groundwater and migrating gases mostly unknown
Chevron reported 3.6 magnitude event; Shut down by AER. Is the AER’s Frac Quake Stop Light System Irrelevant? Another 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake at Fox Creek
Frac or Dewater, Shake and Cover-up: Oklahoma scientists suspected quakes linked to oil 8 years ago
Oil & gas execs ‘pressured’ Oklahoma geologists not to reveal fracking-quakes link; Industry Pressure Kept Oklahoma’s Scientists Silent on Earthquake-Fracking Link Since 2010: Report
AER Master Deregulator promises regulation while bamboozling media and the public. UK frac quake “red light” is 0.5M, in Alberta, it’s 4.0M
Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Safety Agency’s report a relevant read for any fracking zone; Fox Creek frac quakes make AER play deregulation with you and your loved ones: “Red Light = Green Light”
USGS: Frac-induced quakes “dramatically increasing the chance of bigger and dangerous quakes, federal research indicates”
After whopping 4.1 earthquake, Oklahoma regulators were finally fracking fed up, ordered injection well shut down; In Alberta, after 4.4 global frac quake record and aftershocks, it’s “No Duty of Care” frac as usual, harms be damned
Fracking Quakes Pose Added Risks but Oil and Gas Companies Refuse to Share their Collected Seismic Data. “In low seismic environments like Fox Creek where the natural earthquakes are infrequent, the hazards from an induced seismic event can exceed the hazards from a natural source”
Did Alberta Just Break a Fracking Earthquake World Record with 4.4 Temblor at Fox Creek? Sounds of Silence: The Crooked Lake Earthquakes
New BC OGC Report: From August 2013 to October 2014 Fracking directly caused 193 earthquakes (11 felt on surface), 38 more caused by waste injection, in Montney basin area surrounding Dawson Creek and Ft St John
Could Class Action Frac Quake Lawsuits Doom Fracking? Is that why Big Oil tried to slow down science linking fracking to damaging earth quakes?
Alberta Energy Regulator still won’t admit the truth: Hydraulic fracturing directly causes earthquakes
New Cornell Study: Because of fracing, Oklahoma now has three times more earthquakes than California; Number of potentially damaging earthquakes – magnitude 3.0 or larger – up more than 120 percent
International panel of geoscientists concluded pair of deadly earthquakes that struck Italian region of Emilia-Romagna in 2012 could have been triggered by petroleum extraction
Fracking by Chesapeake and Billiton Petroleum Blamed for ‘Thousands of Quakes’ and Damaging Homes in Arkansas Lawsuit
Azle, Texas Sues over Earthquakes caused by Fracking
Quake-Plagued Texans ‘Shake the Ground’ in Austin; What say the regulators? Suffer while we study
USGS to make separate risk map for man-made quakes; National Research Council excludes 272 frac-caused quakes in BC’s Horn River Basin off global map
Spain Suffers from Hundreds of Earthquakes Caused by Offshore Drilling; Largest is Magnitude 4.2; Citizens Complain of Cracks and Tremors Whipping Their Homes
Failure to Consider Specific and Relevant Studies “is Equivalent to The Death of Knowledge.” Italy judge says deadly L’Aquila quake was foreseeable, experts failed to accurately communicate risk to the public
Fracking Linked To 109 Earthquakes In Youngstown, Ohio
Fracking linked to earthquakes, study finds, raises new concern about earthquakes and fracking fluids
Lawsuit: Quakes caused by frack water disposal damaged homes, Two Alvarado homeowners are suing several energy companies saying they induced earthquakes that damaged their homes
New Mexico Earthquakes Linked to Wastewater Injection
Quake Lawsuits Shake Up Shale Play Companies
Families Blame Fracking for Destructive Quakes
B.C. oil and gas regulator links fracking to earthquakes
Investigation of Observed Seismicity in the Horn River Basin
Fracking Earthquakes: Injection practice linked to scores of tremors
Blackpool rocked: how fracking triggers quakes
Canadian studies launched in April 2012 to examine fracking and earthquakes
Fracking for oil triggers manmade earthquakes, studies confirm
Survey says…fracking is causing earthquakes
Fracking process causing earthquakes noticeable kilometres away
Fracking likely triggered U.K. quakes, gas firm says
Okla. quakes associated with fracking, Hydraulic fracturing may be in for a bumpy ride
Quakes Push Arkansas to Limit Gas-Waste Wells
Frac Attack: Burning Water And Earthquakes
Shutdown of wells extended in Arkansas quake study
Scientist blames quakes on drilling
Alberta frack operation near Devon shattered home window; No wonder Edmonton-area residents are protesting fracing near their homes