County, Province to cohost meeting about oil and gas drilling by Kimberley Massey, October 22, 2012, Rockyview Weekly
Rocky View County and the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) plan to hold a public open house to discuss oil and gas activities in the county next month. During an Oct. 16 meeting, Rocky View General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Byron Riemann told council the ERCB plans to provide information specific to activities in the area’s Cardium formation and related drilling and fracking practices in Springbank, Cochrane, Bearspaw and northeast Rocky View. He added Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), Alberta Energy and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have also been requested to participate in the open house. Councillor Kim Magnuson said it is important to have the meeting as soon as possible.
“Time is of the essence here and the sooner we get correct information out to people the better,” she said. “It’s going to have an effect on how development happens out here and how we plan development in Rocky View.” Magnuson said she was originally contacted the ERCB’s Manager of Stakeholder Engagement Tom McGee about the open house, as two drill sites were recently approved in Springbank and 17 parcels of land have been purchased for the same purpose. “Oil is a burning issue in Springbank,” she said.” We have become the centre of drilling and fracking in the county. I think this is very timely and the sooner we get correct information out to people the better.” Drilling licenses to two sites near the Bingham Crossing and Harmony developments were granted to Bearspaw company Bernum Petroleum by the ERCB last month. Seventeen quarter sections of Crown land were also purchased by another oil and gas company for $17 million on Sept. 19 and drilling applications will be submitted to the ERCB.
The majority of the sites are located on the north side of Highway 1 and Magnuson said she expects the trend to continue south, as the Cardium formation extends all the way to Black Diamond. Magnuson said the ERCB will present information on how oil companies are working to reduce these impacts of fracking on water, roads and communities and allow local residents to address their concerns and ask questions. “They want to get the right information out there and make sure people have up-to-date information that is all accurate,” she said. Councillors Paul McLean and Greg Boehlke agreed about the importance of holding the open house. “I think this is pertinent,” said Boehlke. “I suggest we have the open house at the County office (in Calgary). It’s central, people know how to get here and it accommodates everybody from every area (of the county).” McLean suggested it be held in an area closer to where the oil and gas activities are taking place. “We should look at having this where these activities are happening,” he said. “I would prefer to see it held in an area where there is a lot of that kind of activity.” The date and location of the open house will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, visitwww.rockyview.ca [Emphasis added]
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