Local Alberta resident Patty Pearsall-Pickup responds to ERCB’s request for feedback on regulation of unconventional resource development and fracturing

Alberta, des citoyens osent enfin briser l’omerta, traduction libre d’un reportage récent by lesamisdurichelieu, January 1, 2013. Some are brave enough to speak out, French translation of:

Local Alberta resident responds to ERCB’s request for feedback by Dawn Smith, December 31, 2012, Rocky View Weekly
A local resident is not impressed by the Energy Resources Conservation Board’s (ERCB) call for public input on the regulation of future unconventional resource development. Patty Pearsall-Pickup, who owns a home in the Lochend area northeast of Cochrane, which has seen a large increase in oil and gas activity over the past two years, says the average Albertan doesn’t have time to study the possible implications of horizontal fracturing. The ERCB recently released Regulating Unconventional Oil and Gas in Alberta – a Discussion Paper, which outlines a new approach to oil and gas regulation. Pearsall-Pickup said the discussion paper is 30 pages long and ERCB’s 15 directives, which regulate how the Alberta oil and gas industry are developed, are each multiple pages. “It is outrageous that the provincial government, the oil and gas industry, the ERCB and the federal government consistently say horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is safe for human health, our air and our waters,” said Pearsall-Pickup. “This is just another façade, another attempt to squelch the voices of throngs of Albertans who have pleaded for help.”

Pearsall-Pickup said a number of residents in the Lochend area, including herself, have already provided a multitude of feedback. She said numerous studies show fracking may damage animal and human health, the environment and have negative economic impacts on landowners. “There is enough feedback already that tells a hideous story but these voices have been marginalized to the sidelines in the quest for wealth and the suffering of residents be damned,” she said. “We are told all is safe, that there is no evidence that the deadly toxins in frack fluid are not endangering our waters or our air when scientific evidence abounds that human health is being severely affected.

“Alberta has a long history of regulating safe and responsible oil and gas development,” said ERCB Chairman Dan McFadyen. … Rocky View County Councillor Kim Magnuson said she attended an information session in Cochrane in early December. ERCB representatives were on hand to talk about recent oil and gas activity in the area. Magnuson said tempers flared during the meeting, which started at 4 p.m. and lasted until 11 p.m. and included a question–and-answer session. “There was a lot of anger and shouting and there was a good variety of age groups there,” she said. “People want answers and they would like the government to step up and look into their concerns.” Magnuson encourages residents to provide input about their concerns. “It is time that people who live in the areas where this activity is happening, they need to be heard,” she said. “A lot of them feel it is impacting their health, it is impacting their lifestyle, property values and water. They are really concerned.” [Emphasis added]

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