Fracking safety concerns a festering issue

Fracking safety concerns a festering issue by Stephen Ewart, December 3, 2011, Calgary Herald
In response to a question Wednesday, Alberta Environment and Water Minister Diana McQueen said her staff were engaged in policy discussions with other government departments “before we move heavily into fracking.”…Is the province getting ahead of the issue or not? Is it developing a “comprehensive plan” to regulate fracking as McQueen contends, or adhering to Morton’s assertion that under existing policies “there’s not one documented instance of where the fracking itself led to contamination?” I suspect it’s likely to be mostly the latter, dressed up to look like the former. And it’s unlikely to satisfy Mike Bruised Head, who lives on the Blood Tribe reserve near Standoff. Living close to several oil and gas wells had Bruised Head concerned about drinking water drawn from his well. He told the Herald’s Jen Gerson a few months back testing found traces of benzene and vinyl chloride, compounds linked to fracking. “These are not natural elements. These have been put in the ground manually,” he said. “I can never serve my water to my three little grandchildren.”…Encana, the Calgary based gas producer at the forefront of the fracking boom, has stopped using diesel fuel, which includes carcinogens, and another chemical compound in response to stakeholder concerns. … Premier Alison Redford…might be best served to properly fund all the provincial regulators so they can enforce rules already in place and severely punish companies that don’t adhere to standards that Albertans have a right to expect. [Emphasis added]

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