Peace Region MLAs have yet to see fracking health report by Jonny Wakefield, February 27, 2015, Alaska Highway News
The Peace Region’s MLAs say they have yet to see a soon-to-be-released report into the health impacts of oil and gas development in the northeast.
According to the Ministry of Health, the final phase of its study on hydraulic fracturing and public health is expected to be released “very soon.”
Titled “Identifying Health Concerns relating to oil and gas development in northeastern B.C.,” the report is an in-depth look at public concerns and scientific data on fracking.
A ministry spokesperson wrote that “were there an imminent public health risk [from fracking], we would immediately disclose that and inform the public.”
The report’s second phase was a review of the science on the health risks of fracking.
That section of the report has been sitting on Health Minister Terry Lake’s desk [reportedly since March 2014].
Delta MLA Vicki Huntington asked the minister in the legislature why the findings had not been published. She added that requests for the data under the Freedom of Information Act have been delayed.
The report is currently under review by five different ministries, the Globe reports.
MLAs Mike Bernier and Pat Pimm say that while they haven’t seen the findings, they’ve asked for a chance to read the report before it’s published.
“I asked the ministry, and they confirmed that all of the phase two we said we were going to do is done,” Bernier said. “They’re compiling all the data, [The government wasn’t contracted to do the final report, Intrinsik was. Why is the government suddenly now “compiling all the data” that Intrinsik reportedly already did?” Not enough propaganda to con the harmed families or keep Encana ‘n CAPP happy?] and they’ll be releasing a report in the next couple months.”
“I asked that myself and Pat Pimm both get a look at that before it goes out,” he said. “Obviously people in the area have concerns, and I want to make sure I have that information.”
Pimm said the ministries were still compiling data from the study.
“We’ll hopefully have an opportunity to sit in on those discussions,” he said.
The first section, drafted by the environmental non-profit Fraser Basin Council, received more than 300 comments and submissions from individuals, governments and industry. It was released in 2012.
Some residents attributed a host of ailments, including “asthma and bronchitis, cancer, stress and sleep deprivation” to living near oil and gas operations, the report states.
“The overall concern of many respondents was uncertainty and not being fully informed of the extent and nature of possible long-term health effects on individuals and communities within close proximity of oil and gas operations,” the authors wrote.
“Many of the respondents believe their health and the health of their families has been adversely affected or may be affected in the future by increased oil and gas activity.”
The study also looked at the industry’s impact on local hospitals and clinics.
Improved air quality monitoring in the northeast was one outcome of the first report, a ministry spokesperson said in an email. [Emphasis added]
Click to access the contract Below are excerpts from it:
5.3 The Contractor must treat as confidential all information in the Material and all other information accessed or obtained by the Contractor or a Subcontractor (whether verbally, electronically or otherwise) as a result of this Agreement, and not permit its disclosure or use without the Province’s prior written consent except:
(a) as required to perform the Contractor’s obligations under this Agreement or to comply with applicable laws;
(b) if it is information that is generally known to the public other than as result of a breach of this Agreement; or
(c) if it is information in any Incorporated Material.
Given the high public profile of this project it is anticipated that there may be several media inquiries. In the event that the MOH would like the Intrinsik Team to conduct media interviews they will be handled by Mr. Koppe or Mr. Sigal, both of whom have the requisite training and experience to do so on behalf of clients. Alternatively, if the MOH would like to handle all media inquiries, the Intrinsik Team will pass all media requests to the appropriate MOH representative. Finally, all members of the Intrinsik Team understand the need to maintain confidentiality of the details of the project throughout its duration. [Even if Intrinsik deteramines that companies are transporting, injecting and venting into the air toxic chemicals and flow back fluids or illegally venting/leaking deadly sour gas?]
At no point will any individual team member disclose any conversations, discussions, draft reports, process or protocols to a third-party without consent from the Project Manager and the MOH.
5.2 Statement of Potential Conflict of Interest 
It is difficult to undertake a project of this nature with internationally recognized experts in the field of oil and gas environmental fate and potential health effects, without recruiting individuals that have worked, or are currently working, for industrial or government clients. All companies, and many of the individual members, of the Intrinsik Team have worked directly for numerous oil and gas clients in BC, Alberta and internationally. In addition, the individual companies or team members may have conducted paid consulting work for industry associations that are involved in the formal advocacy of the oil and gas industry in Canada and internationally. That being said, the Intrinsik Team companies and individuals have also provided paid consulting work to numerous provincial, state and federal governments in the same field. Regardless of whether consulting work has been conducted on behalf of industrial or government clients, our work is almost always subjected to a rigorous public peer-review process. [Is the BC government doing the peer-review while they “compile all the data?” ]
At no time has any company or individual of the Intrinsik Team engaged in formal “advocacy” or “lobbying” on behalf of an individual client or organization involved in the oil and gas industry.
Of particular note are the individuals on the Intrinsik Advisory Panel. Although these individuals may have perceived strong ties to one or more industrial clients, industry groups, government organizations or nongovernment organizations (NGOs), each has confirmed with the Intrinsik Team Project Manager that they are not in actual conflict of interest with their current consulting or non-profit activities. [Will anyone in conflict of interest on the Intrinsik team admit it? Documentation came out to show that Dr. Alex Blyth with the Alberta Research Council was in conflict of interest while reviewing and dismissing the water contamination cases in Alberta frac fields, but he didn’t admit then, and 7 years later, still hasn’t.]
However, all three individuals have confirmed that they will sign a BC MOH confidentiality agreement and will not disclose any project details, discussions, conversations, documents or any other material to any third-party, either during the course of the project or upon its completion, that are not publically available to all.
Each of the individuals and companies that comprise the Intrinsik Team is prepared to comply with Section 4 p) requirement of the RFP that stipulates that we “Be prepared for all proposed team members to sign a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement.” To the best of his ability the Intrinsik Team Project Manager will ensure throughout the project that at no time any member of the team breaches BC MOH confidentiality agreement, nor will team members allow conflict of interest to arise.
It should be noted that many of the individual team members may be actively engaged over the next 18 months in oil and gas projects in northeastern BC, Alberta [That’s the time frame of review for this health report. Isn’t that obvious conflict of interest?] or internationally under environmental assessment or other such activities. Team members will in no way use knowledge gained as part of this project in an untoward manner during these activities. Given the long and proven track-record of each of the individuals and companies that comprise the Intrinsik Team in ensuring beyond reproach professional conduct we are confident that all individuals will
conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.
Encana acquires right to drill under Swan Lake by Alaska Highway News, February 16, 2015
Encana Corp. has purchased the rights to drill for natural gas beneath Swan Lake. The Calgary-based oil and gas company recently bought a parcel that includes gas 2,600 meters below the southern end of Swan Lake, a popular recreation area on the Alberta-British Columbia border.
It’s a move that some nearby residents oppose. The Swan Lake Enhancement Society (SLES), a conservation group made up of lakeside residents, says there’s no guarantee fracking two kilometers down won’t harm the lake and its watershed. Ducks Unlimited Canada, which owns a conservation area on the lake, has also expressed concern about drilling. The parcel sold in December includes a section of the adjacent Swan Lake provincial park.
SLES president Allen Watson said an Encana representative contacted him shortly after the company bought the parcel. “They talked to me for an hour trying to assure me that there is no risk to the lake,” he said. [What good are Encana assurances once your lake is ruined or your drinking water lost or contaminated? ]
Watson said he has asked several elected officials to compensate Encana for the parcel — either financially or with rights to drill in a less sensitive area. So far, no one has responded to the suggestion, he said. He has also raised the issue with BC NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.
“Our mission is to promote good stewardship of the lake and in its watershed,” Watson said. “Nobody in the oil and gas industry can guarantee there won’t be an accident. Nowhere is that in the terms of good stewardship.”
In December, the provincial natural gas ministry told Alaska Highway News that horizontally drilling beneath the lake posed no risk, adding that another oil and gas company has already drilled beneath the lake’s north end without incident.
In November, the provincial government told Swan Lake residents that the gas rights were up for lease in the December auction. A Calgary-based land broker bought the drilling rights in December for $4.7 million.
An Encana spokesperson said it’s too early to say whether a well will be brought into production. “We’re looking at our drill schedule, and nothing is finalized at this point,” said Brian Lieverse. He added that it was still unclear what impact Encana’s recently announced $130 million reduction in Montney spending would have on drilling in the area.
Any drilling operation would still have to go through an environmental assessment and a round of First Nations and resident consultation. SLES and the Oil and Gas Commission are scheduled to meet about drilling under the lake this Sunday. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
British Columbia’s Ministry Health withholding data, report of scientific research on how oil and gas operations are affecting human health in northeast communities; Refusing to release even under FOIP: “could be harmful to the financial interest of a public body”
This post includes numerous cross referenced peer-reviewed published papers indicating significant health and water harm and or risks from fracing.
Un rapport sur les impacts du fracking sur la santé caché du public Translation B.C. Health Minister mum on report of fracking health effects by Amie du Richelieu February 22, 2015 ]