Fracking wastewater OK’d to go from Debert to Lafarge cement plant by Francis Campbell, April 17, 2014, The Chronicle Herald
Trucks will begin hauling fracking wastewater from the the Atlantic Industrial Services holding ponds in Debert to the Lafarge Canada cement plant in Brookfield next week. “After considering the community’s concerns and reviewing the tests on the treated water, I am satisfied that this pilot project can proceed safely,” Environment Minister Randy Delorey said during a meeting that attracted about 50 area residents to the Best Western Glengarry Plus Hotel on Wednesday evening. But the three to five truckloads a day of wastewater that will travel along highways 104 and 102 over a three-week period will be followed by heavy payloads of distrust and skepticism.
Environment Minister Randy Delorey
“Why would I trust you,” Ellen Durkee of Middle Stewiacke asked the minister when it was her turn to approach the microphone in the sometimes heated three-hour-plus meeting. “Lafarge is getting paid, we are taking the risks.” Durkee, a 53-year-old mother of four and grandmother of two, maintains that the processes of carbon filtration and reverse osmosis that have been used to treat the wastewater do not remove contaminants like heavy metals. The water is to be used as a kiln coolant at the Lafarge plant and will heat up to more than 700 degrees Celsius. Still, Durkee wasn’t buying assurances from Kathleen Johnson, an engineering specialist with the science division of the Environment Department, that the intense heat will combust any heavy metals or anything else organic in the water. “You’re wrong,” Burkee said. “Heavy metals will go up the stack, over my house. This is my life, my home, my children’s lives, my valley and my community.
“What’s going to be in there? The leukemias, the brain cancers and the thyroid cancers, all the things that we know go along with these carcinogens. It’s not small stuff. It’s our children’s lives. We only have one chance to do this and we’re screwing it up.”
B.J. Tan, a senior who lives in Debert, said companies like AIS and Lafarge often accuse residents of fearmongering in cases like the approved pilot project that will use two million of the 10 million litres of wastewater that have been sitting in the Debert lagoon since a fracking test project seven years ago. “Lives could be at stake,” Tan said. “If there is fearmongering among residents, it’s because our No. 1 priority is not money. It’s our children, our children’s children’s children.”
Orland Kennedy, who lives in Pleasant Valley near the Lafarge plant, said finding a way to get rid of fracking waste water will have the averse effect of attracting more fracking. “The worst possible outcome is for us to find an acceptable means to dispose of fracking waste water,” Kennedy said. “That will open the door.”
Delorey and Johnson sat at the front of the room, absorbed the skepticism and patiently answered questions. The minister explained that the wastewater pilot project is separate from the debate about whether the province should allow fracking. After the two-million-litre pilot is complete, the department would have to examine any kiln residue before considering issuing a letter of authority to allow the Lafarge plant to continue using the wastewater. As for Wednesday night, Delorey said he was trying to build on the trust that he tried to foster with public meetings on the issue in January. “The hope is in a big way to build trust,” Delorey said. “This is a file that’s been a longstanding issue in the community and there is a lot of distrust, a lot of challenges that took place in the past. The only way that we could start to deal with it, I felt, was to have a legitimate dialogue.”
The hope for Durkee is to see the end of fracking. “The only solution to this is not to frack,” Durkee said. “There is no way to get rid of this safely. We don’t need the oil from fracking. We’ve got lots of other alternatives. I sound like I want to live in a hut and raise goats, which I don’t. But I also don’t want to risk my kids’ futures and their health.” [Emphasis added]
Colchester County cement plant owner says fracking water disposal not a ‘get rich quick solution’ by Harry Sullivan, April 18, 2014, Nova News Now
There are no ulterior motives behind a proposal by the Lafarge cement plant here to dispose of frack water in its high-temperature kiln, a company official says. “The whole idea for why Lafarge would put their name forward came out of our employees,” Colchester County plant manager Scarth MacDonnell said, of the Department of Environment’s decision for permission to conduct a pilot project for disposing of two-million litres of treated frack wastewater currently sitting in holding ponds in Debert. “They were the ones that saw the decision where the water was not allowed down the county sewers. It is not a get-rich-quick solution,” he said, of some public comments that the exercise is being done for corporate profit.
“It is just a way that we can present our equipment and our technology as a way to solve what sounds like a long-standing problem for the community,” MacDonnell said. “We’re just pleased that the Minister of Environment has endorsed our proposed solution … and it sounds like the science was vetted by all the engineers and the staff in Department of Environment. The company must also conduct its own follow-up testing during and after the pilot process, he added. “Remember, I’m the guy that drank the water, right,” MacDonnell said, in regard to a bottle of the frack water, that had been treated by reverse osmosis, which he drank from while making a presentation during a recent Colchester County Council meeting. “I’ve looked at this thing so many different ways and we’ve tested it and we’ve taken our own samples and I am convinced with all of the science that is available to us today, you know, this water is safe and it is clean to drink and I think it was clarified last night that the water is cleaner than the water in Shortts Lake.” [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to: