TABLE OF CONTENTS
STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT UPDATE FOR WESTERN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR OFFSHORE AREA
GENERAL FRACKING RESOURCES
WATER AND CHEMICALS
FRACKING AND NATIONAL PARKS
GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE
HYDRAULIC FRACTURING IN NEIGHBOURING PROVINCES
- Western Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area Strategic Environmental Assessment Update: http://www.cnlopb.ca/sea/western.php
- Series on Fracking Shale Gas: Myths and Realities: http://thetyee.ca/Series/2013/01/08/Fracking-Myths-And-Realities/ Veteran energy reporter Andrew Nikiforuk and Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea discuss the myths and realities of the 4 big industry claims that fracking is safe.
- Council of Canadian Academies. 2014. Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada: http://www.scienceadvice.ca/en/assessments/completed/shale-gas.aspx Commissioned by Environment Canada, the report looked at the state of knowledge of potential environmental impacts from exploration, extraction, and development of Canada’s shale resources. Its key findings were that although the technologies and techniques used in extracting shale gas are understood, more research and information is needed on the potential environmental impacts that could result from this process. For Canada, regional context matters. Environments, ecosystems, geographies, and geologies are not uniform across the country. Therefore, consideration of different potential regional impacts need to be closely considered when determining the suitability for shale gas development. Overall, the Panel found that well-targeted science is required to ensure a better understanding of the environmental impacts of shale gas development. Currently, data about environmental impacts are neither sufficient nor conclusive. The Panel’s assessment focused on a number of environmental impacts. They include: Well Integrity; Water (groundwater and surface); Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Land Impacts and Seismic Events; Human Health; and Monitoring and Research.
- New York State Environmental Review of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (2015): http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html This comprehensive review took 7 years to complete.
- Report of the Nova Scotia Independent Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing (2014): http://www.cbu.ca/hfstudy Following the release of the report, the Nova Scotia government imposed a moratorium. The Wheeler Report stressed the need for social license and social acceptability. The report also outlined 32 recommendations to safeguard community health, local economies, ecosystem health, and the environment should the Province and communities wish to proceed with hydraulic fracturing at some point in the future.
- Nikiforuk, A. 2013. Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?: http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/09/Leaky-Fracked-Wells/ Leakage rates can be as high as 60%.
- Ingraffea, A. 2012. Fluid Migration Mechanisms Due to Faulty Well Design and/or Construction: An Overview and Recent Experiences in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Play: http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/site/view/1057
- 2012 Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development: Chapter 1 Atlantic Offshore Oil and Gas Activities: http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201212_01_e_37710.html Chapter 5 contains the section on hydraulic fracturing and concerns that chemicals used in fracking are not reported under the National Pollutant Release Inventory:http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201212_05_e_37714.html
- Resources for the Future, Centre for Energy, Economics, and Policy. 2013. Pathways to Dialogue: What the Experts say about the Environmental Risks of Shale Gas Development: http://www.rff.org/centers/energy_economics_and_policy/Pages/Shale-Gas-Expert-Survey.aspx
- Summary of Key Findings
- Full Report
- A catalogue of all plausible environmental risks
- ProPublica journalism coverage of fracking: http://www.propublica.org/series/fracking This is an excellent database of articles and resources.
- Cornell University, The Atkison Centre for a Sustainable Future, Natural Gas Research: http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/news/NatGas-CSeq/index.php Links are provided to articles and presentations on hydraulic fracturing.
- Cornell University Natural Gas Resource Centre: http://cce.cornell.edu/EnergyClimateChange/NaturalGasDev/Pages/default.aspx
- Yale Environment 360: http://e360.yale.edu/ In the search, type “fracking” to get a large list of articles, videos, and debates. Yale Environment 360 June 2011 Forum on Just How Safe is ‘Fracking’ of Natural Gas?: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/forum_just_how_safe__is_fracking_of_natural_gas/2417/
- Radio Documentaries: http://www.fracturedappalachia.org/
- Report prepared for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. 2011. Impacts on Community Character of Horizontal Drilling and High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reserves. See Chapter 3 at the following link: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Publications/Research-and-Development-Technical-Reports/Other-Technical-Reports/Natural-Gas-Enviromental-Impact.aspx
- Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for a Healthy Society bibliography for unconventional oil and gas: http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/Library/Unconventional-Oil–Gas
- International Institute for Impact Assessment: http://www.iaia.org/
- Semeniuk, I. 2013. Geologist’s Provocative Study Challenges Popular Assumptions About ‘Fracking:’ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/geologists-provocative-study-challenges-popular-assumptions-about-fracking/article8869710/
- Hughes, D. 2013. Drill Baby Drill: http://www.postcarbon.org/drill-baby-drill/ This is a critical analysis of the shale gas and shale oil industry. He explains how the expectations of this shale “revolution” may fall short. Full Report, Executive Summary, and graphs are available.
- Ballam, D. 2013. When we Know More About Christmas Lights than Fracking, It is Time to Take a Harder Look (The Independent Feb. 19, 2013): http://theindependent.ca/2013/02/19/when-we-know-more-about-christmas-lights-than-fracking-its-time-to-take-a-harder-look/
- Nikiforuk, A. 2012. Alberta Plays Catch-up on the Frack Front: Regulator Acknowledges Water Risks, says Hydraulic Fluids Disclosure Will be Required (TheTyee, Feb. 23, 2012): http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/02/23/AlbertaCatchUp/
- Liquefied Propane Fracking Method:
Brino, A. and B. Nearing. 2011. New Waterless Fracking Method Avoids Pollution Problems, But Drillers Slow to Embrace It: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20111104/gasfrac-propane-natural-gas-drilling-hydraulic-fracturing-fracking-drinking-water-marcellus-shale-new-york
Vanderklippe, N. 2011. Husky Well Fire Injures Several Alberta Workers. Globe and Mail article: http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/husky-well-fire-injures-several-alberta-workers/article1932947/?service=mobile
- The New York Times In-depth Feature on Fracking: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/27/us/natural-gas-documents-1.html?_r=1&
- Srebotnjak, T. and J. B. Sass. 2014. http://docs.nrdc.org/health/files/hea_14100301a.pdf A paper given by Jennifer Sass, Keynote speaker, for a symposium on Fracking and Health hosted by the Center for Environmental Health on October 2014
- 33rd Yukon Legislative Assembly Final Report of the Select Committee Regarding the Risks and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing (2015): http://www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/pdf/rbhf_final_report.pdf
- United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Report on Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing (2011) 2011) http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=news/committee-democrats-release-new-report-detailing-hydraulic-fracturing-products The Report summarizes information on the types and volumes of chemical products used by the industry between 2005 and 2009. Over 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products containing 750 chemicals and other components were reported. These 750 chemicals are listed in Appendix A. 29 chemicals are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. These 29 chemicals were components of more than 650 different products used in hydraulic fracturing.
- Pacific Institute. 2012. Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction http://www.pacinst.org/reports/fracking/ The report debunks many of the assertions made by the industry, especially concerning water resources contamination.
- Hydraulic Fracturing: Two-thirds of Frack Disclosures Omit “Secrets.” Energy Wire Article (September 26, 2012): http://www.eenews.net/public/energywire/2012/09/26/1
- United States Environmental Protection Agency Study on Hydraulic Fracturing and its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources: http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/ The site provides access to the Progress Report, webinar presentation slides, and materials from the technical roundtables. Additionally, there is a blog, fact sheets, case studies, and a link to publications.
- 2012. In Fracking’s Wake: New Rules are Needed to Protect our Health and Environment from Contaminated Wastewater: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/fracking-wastewater.asp The webpage lists updates since the publication of the article in May 2012. There are also links to related NRDC Webpages.
- 2012. Hydraulic Fracturing Can Potentially Contaminate Drinking Water Sources: http://www.nrdc.org/water/fracking-drinking-water.asp
- Pembina Institute. 2011. Shale Gas in British Columbia: Risks to B.C.’s Water Resources: http://www.pembina.org/pub/2263
- Lustgarten, A. 2012. New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years: http://www.propublica.org/article/new-study-predicts-frack-fluids-can-migrate-to-aquifers-within-years
- Nova Scotia challenges regarding fracking waste water disposal (CBC News October 18, 2012): http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/10/18/ns-windsor-fracking-water-concerns.html
- Halifax Media Co-op summary of challenges with treating and disposing of waste water from hydraulic fracturing: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/ndp-government-gives-fracking-waste-handler-free-r/17148
- New York State Department of Environment and Conservation. 2009. Draft SGEIS: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/ogdsgeischap5.pdf Lists of chemicals that can be found in “fracturing additive products” pages 5-44 – 5-61. Discussions of the health impacts of a selection chemicals of can be found from page 5-61 – 5-64.
- Ongoing Groundwater Investigation in Wyoming: http://www.epa.gov/region8/superfund/wy/pavillion/ This case is one of the first in the US where the Federal Government linked groundwater contamination to fracking. Multi-year study being conducted by the EPA on groundwater contamination, including extensive reports, reports on laboratory findings, public comments received during consultations, presentations, and multimedia. See also: http://www.propublica.org/article/feds-link-water-contamination-to-fracking-for-first-time The draft report discusses of problems in British Columbia related to hydraulic fracturing.
- Pratt, S. 2012. Leaked Fracking Fluid Contaminated Groundwater near Grand Prairie (Edmonton Journal December 20, 2012): http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/cityplus_alberta/story.html?id=30d3de2d-d6a6-4335-8c45-f72b50611072
- NRDC Switch Board Blog. Incidents Where Hydraulic Fracturing is a Suspected Cause of Drinking Water Contamination: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amall/incidents_where_hydraulic_frac.html
- Jackson, R. B., et. al. 2013. Increased Stray Gas Abundance in a Subset of Drinking Water Wells Newar Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (28) 11250-11255: http://m.pnas.org/content/early/2013/06/19/1221635110.full.pdf
- Memorial University Research Exchange Group on the Health Impacts of Fracking: http://www.nlcahr.mun.ca/Research_Exchange/REGonFracking.php
- New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer, New Brunswick Department of Health. 2012. Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Recommendations Concerning Shale Gas Development in New Brunswick: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/h-s/pdf/en/HealthyEnvironments/Recommendations_ShaleGasDevelopment.pdf
- New York State Department of Health. 2014. A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development: https://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdfThis ground-breaking study led to New York’s ban on hydraulic fracturing in 2015.
- Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction): http://concernedhealthny.org/compendium/
- American Academy of Pediatrics and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units. 2011. PEHSU Information on Natural Gas Extraction and Hydraulic Fracturing for Health Professionals: http://aoec.org/pehsu/documents/hydraulic_fracturing_and_children_2011_health_prof.pdf
- Chartered Institute of Health. 2012. Briefing Note on Hydraulic Fracturing: Impacts on the Environment and Human Health: http://www.cieh.org/assets/0/72/1126/1212/1216/1218/08316171-c668-41d1-8d85-8af09f3d2193.pdf
- org 2015 report on Health and Fracking: the Impacts and Opportunity Costs: http://www.medact.org/news/new-report-health-fracking-the-impacts-opportunity-costs/ The report was supported by a letter published in the British Medical Journal.
- Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester Report (2011): http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/sites/default/files/tyndall-coop_shale_gas_report_final.pdf Chapter 4 focus on Human Health and Environmental Considerations, and has information on toxicity of chemicals starting on p. 56.
- Report for European Commission DG Environment. 2012. Support to the Identification of Potential Risks for the Environment and Human Health Arising from Hydrocarbons Operations Involving Hydraulic Fracturing in Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/energy/pdf/fracking study.pdf
- Report for the Directorate-General for Internal Policies. 2011. Impacts of Shale Gas and Shale Oil Extraction on the Environment and on Human Health: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/document/activities/cont/201107/20110715ATT24183/20110715ATT24183EN.pdf
- USA National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Worker Exposure to Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing. Accessed 26 March, 2013: http://www.osha.gov/dts/hazardalerts/hydraulic_frac_hazard_alert.html
- The Network for Public Health Law. Factsheet on the Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on Communities: http://www.networkforphl.org/_asset/v0y6o4/Fracking_Local_Issues.pdf
- Colborn, T. et al. 2011. Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective: http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.journalarticle.php The article summarizes significant risk to human health from chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, arguing that there may be long term impacts. 944 products containing 632 chemicals used during natural gas operations was compiled. Literature searches were conducted to determine potential health effects of the 353 chemicals identified by Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers. More than 75% of the chemicals could affect the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Approximately 40-50% could affect the brain/nervous system, immune and cardiovascular systems, and the kidneys; 37% could affect the endocrine system; and 25% could cause cancer and mutations.
- Bamberger, M. 2012. Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health: http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/Impacts_of_Gas_Drilling_on_Human_and_Animal_Health
- Endocrine Disruption: http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/files/Oct2011HERA10-48forweb3-3-11.pdf
- National Farmers Union Resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing:
- Tillett, T. 2013. Summit Discusses Public Health Implications of Fracking. Public Health Perspectives, 121 (1): a15: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3553449/
- Bushkin-Bedient, S., G. E. Moore, and The Preventive Medicine and Family Health Committee of the State of New York. 2013. Update on Hydraulic Fracturing: http://aapdistrictii.org/update-on-hydrofracking/ This is a position statement by the Preventive Medicine and Family Health Committee and posted on the American Academy of Paediatrics site. The Committee concludes that it is not possible to balance potential economic benefits with the risks to health and the environment until a Health Impact Assessment is completed on fracking. The statement discusses issues that should be addressed by a Health Impact Assessment.
- A series of Fact Sheets on Fracking compiled by the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments: http://www.scribd.com/doc/167945511/Fact-Facts-on-Fracking-for-Health-Care-Providers
- New Solutions Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy. 2013. Special Issue: Scientific, Economic, Social, Environmental, and Health Policy Concerns Related to Shale Gas Extraction. Vol. 32, No. 1.: http://www.prendergastlibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/New-Solutions-23-1-Binder.pdf
- 2013. Gros Morne National Park State of Conservation Report 2013: http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/1930 This is a summary of the current conservation issues related to fracking near Gros Morne National Park and information discussed by the World Heritage Committee during their June 2013 meeting. IUCN and the World Heritage Centre recommend that a joint reactive monitoring mission be sent to Gros Morne National Park to assess potential risks to the Outstanding Universal Value from activities in enclaves surrounded by the property and other areas bordering the property.
CBC News Coverage (May 17, 2013):http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2013/05/16/nl-.html
- UNESCO, recommends a buffer zone be established around Gros Morne National Park and World Heritage site to protect it from industrial threats: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2014/whc14-38com-7B-en.pdf
- National Parks Conservation Association Centre for Park Research. 2013. National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing: Balancing Energy Needs, Nature, and America’s National Heritage: http://www.npca.org/about-us/center-for-park-research/fracking/
- Columbia Law School, Centre for Climate Change Law. Digest of Hydraulic Fracturing Cases: http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/climatechange/2013/02/18/digest-of-hydraulic-fracturing-cases/
- Konschnik, K., M. Holden, and A. Shasteen. 2013. Legal Fractures in Chemical Disclosure Laws: Why the Voluntary Chemical Disclosure Registry FracFocus Fails as a Regulatory Compliance Tool. Cambridge: Harvard Law School Environmental Law Program Policy Initiative: http://www.eenews.net/assets/2013/04/23/document_ew_01.pdf
- Ernst v. EnCana Corporation: http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/
- Example of Fracking Contamination Case Settlement in Pennsylvania: http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2013/03/21/drilling-companies-agree-to-settle-fracking-contamination-case-for-750000/
- St-Lawrence Coalition. 2014. Gulf 101 Oil in the Gulf of St-Lawrence: Facts, Myths and Future Outlook: http://www.globaliadev.com/coalitionstlaurent/Golfe101/EN/DSF_Golfe_101_English_June_4_2014_V2.pdf
- Gulf of St. Lawrence Stratigraphy: http://geogratis.gc.ca/api/en/nrcan-rncan/ess-sst/c6480341-5831-55c5-acae-0931e32d5cc7.html
- DFO Gulf of St. Lawrence website: http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Home
- 2012. The State of the Ocean Report for the Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management Area: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/coe-cde/soto/Gulf-eng.asp
- Gulf of St. Lawrence: a Unique Ecosystem (Archived 2005 report): http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/e0006090
- New Brunswick Dec 2014 Moratorium
5 conditions before lifting moratorium and proceeding:
- A social license be established
- Clear and credible information on the impacts on air, health and water so a regulatory regime can be developed
- A plan to mitigate the impacts on public infrastructure and address issues such as waste water disposal be established
- A process be in place to fulfill the province’s obligation to consult with First Nations
- A proper royalty structure be established to ensure benefits are maximized
- Nova Scotia Sept 2014 Moratorium (with limited testing and research)
Minister of Energy Andrew Younger: “This is neither a permanent nor a time-limited ban…instead, our government recognizes that the availability and understanding of the science of hydraulic fracturing in shale will evolve one way or the other.” (quoted in the Chronicle Herald, Sept. 3, 2014)
Main Recommendations of the Wheeler Report:
- Hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of unconventional gas and oil development should not proceed at the present time in Nova Scotia.
- Independent conducted research of scientific and public participatory nature is required to model economic, social, environmental, and community health impacts of all forms of energy production and use – including any prospect of unconventional gas and oil development should not proceed in Nova Scotia – at both provincial and federal levels.
- Nova Scotia should design and recognize the test of community permission to proceed before exploration occurs for the purpose of using hydraulic fracturing in the development of unconventional gas and oil resources.
In other words, The Wheeler Report stressed the need for social license and social acceptability. The report also outlined 32 recommendations to safeguard community health, local economies, ecosystem health, and the environment should the Province and communities wish to proceed with hydraulic fracturing at some point in the future.
- Quebec Dec 15 2014 De Facto Moratorium
The BAPE (Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement / Office for public consultation on the environment) is a Quebec neutral public body dedicated to public information and consultation on projects that could potentially have a significant impact on the environment or on any other issue related to the quality of the environment. Only certain types of projects listed in regulations are subjected to such environmental assessments and scrutiny by the BAPE. The Environment Minister has discretionary power to give the BAPE any public inquiry mandate related to any question concerning the quality of the environment.
For a comprehensive reference on issues related to oil exploration and potential impacts in the Gulf of
The first BAPE report on shale gas concluded that there was not enough scientific knowledge to determine the risks. From May 2011 to Dec 2013 the Committee for the Strategic Environmental Evaluation on Shale Gas commissioned dozens of specific research reports.
- A list of the studies performed during the 31 months of the SEA are available at: http://www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/sections/mandats/gaz_de_schiste-enjeux/documents/Etudes_EES/Tableau-etudes-EES-19-fevrier-2014_BAPE.pdf
- Quebec public inquiry on shale gas, final report, Feb. 2011: http://www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/sections/rapports/publications/bape273.pdf
The Committee for the Strategic Environmental Evaluation (SEA) released its final report.
Conclusion: Lots of questions remain unanswered especially on human health, safety and a lack of social acceptability.
Quebec released the BAPE report (review panel of experts). An English translation of Chapter 13 is available online at: http://www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/sections/rapports/publications/bape307_Chap13_ENG.pdf
“In conclusion, because of the magnitude of potential impacts associated with shale gas industry activities in an area of populated and as sensitive as the St. Lawrence Lowlands, because also of uncertainties that subsist regarding potential impacts on water quality of aquifers and the incapacity of the industry to guarantee long-term integrity of gas wells, the review panel is of the opinion that it has not been shown that the exploration and development of shale gas in the St. Lawrence Lowlands, using the technique of hydraulic fracturing would be for the benefit of Quebec.”
Other findings include:
- All exploration and exploitation will increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions and could have an impact on air quality (locally and regionally).
- Hydraulic fracturing could have major impact on nearby communities, from polluting the air to increasing traffic and noise.
- The royalties and other financial benefits payable to Quebec would be insufficient to compensate for the social and environmental costs and externalities or to ensure financial viability for the industry. In other words, hydraulic fracturing would not be economically advantageous for Quebec.
- There is a lack of knowledge, particularly with respect to water resources.
- There is a lack of social acceptability.
In other words, three reports arrived at the same conclusion:
- Shale gas exploration and extraction in the region is not economically advantageous
- Social license / acceptability is not present
- There is a lack of knowledge
Premier Couillard is quoted as saying “There will be no shale gas development in Quebec.” “Right now, I do not see the interest in developing (the resource).”
Dec 17 2014
The Couillard government draws a line on the shale gas adventure…for the time being…reported La Presse,
Dec 19 2014
Premier Coulliard refuses to impose a moratorium: “I don’t like moratoriums because when you put a moratorium in place, you lock the door. I want to keep the doors open…”
Dec 22 2014
Gov’t of Quebec announced the information / consultation process for its Energy Policy for the Future (Future Politique Énergétique du Québec), with a report due in the Fall of 2015.
- New York State 2014/2015 Ban
After a multi-year review process, the Department of Health undertook a Health Impact Assessment. Following the release of this report, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a ban because of concerns over health risks and the lack of comprehensive knowledge over long-term and cumulative effects on both environmental and human health.
New York State Department of Health released its report A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development, available online at: https://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf
The Review investigated impacts related to: air; water quality; seismic; communities; and human health. The Review also evaluated peer-reviewed scientific research, non-peer reviewed information, as well as gaps in knowledge.
Conclusion: The overall weight of the evidence from the cumulative body of information contained in this Public Health review demonstrates that there are significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF).
- The dispersed nature of the activity magnifies the possibility of process and equipment failures, leading to the potential for cumulative risks for exposures and associated adverse health outcomes. Additionally, the relationships between HVHF environmental impacts and public health are complex and not fully understood. Comprehensive, long- term studies, and in particular longitudinal studies, that could contribute to the understanding of those relationships are either not yet completed or have yet to be initiated.
- While a guarantee of absolute safety is not possible, an assessment of the risk to public health must be supported by adequate scientific information to determine with confidence that the overall risk is sufficiently low to justify proceeding with HVHF in New York. The current scientific information is insufficient.
- Furthermore, it is clear from the existing literature and experience that HVHF activity has resulted in environmental impacts that are potentially adverse to public health.
Dec 11 2014
NY State health professionals and scientists released an analysis of 400 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Fracking (Towards an understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development: an analysis of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, 2009-2014) Available online at: http://psehealthyenergy.org/site/view/1233 Approximately 73% of all available scientific peer-reviewed papers have been published in the past 24 months.
- 96% of all studies published on health impacts indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
- 87% of original research studies published on health outcomes indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
- 95% of all original research studies on air quality indicate elevated concentrations of air pollutants.
- 72% of original research studies on water quality indicate potential, positive association, or actual incidence of water contamination.
New York releases its final New York State Environmental Review of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (2015): http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html The Review took 7 years to complete.
- Prince Edward Island Undecided
Minister of Environment Janice Sherry has stated that “Hydraulic fracturing is a non-issue for PEI…unless the province receives an application to drill, the province sees no need to declare whether it will ban or support the practice,” quoted in CBC news, Sept 11 2014. An environmental impact assessment would be conducted should an application be brought forward.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Nov 2013 Moratorium Pending Review
The government stated it would not accept proposals for onshore and onshore to offshore exploration using hydraulic fracturing pending an Internal government review.
Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley announced the composition of a five-person Panel to conduct an Independent Review of Hydraulic Fracturing for the west coast of the island of Newfoundland. http://www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/energy/
The Panel sets up a website for the review: www.nlhfrp.ca
A geological report conducted as part of the Internal Review raises caution. It notes:
- how the Green Point Shale Formation of western Newfoundland differs from other unconventional shale reservoirs;
- that the geological complexity “carries the potential for increased risk;”
- “the potential of the Green Point shale as a suitable target for hydraulic fracturing must be fully and carefully evaluated;” and
- it is difficult to quantify the risk with the current available data.
The report is available online at: http://www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/energy/pdf/green_point_shale_west_nl.pdf
In the fall of 2012, the Ontario government announced that no fracking would take place in Ontario until the government had scientific proof that the practice was safe. Globe and Mail article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ontario-wont-allow-fracking-unless-its-safe-mcguinty-says/article5477227/