AER provides no serious response to Lochender’s concerns of water contamination from frac’ing; Alberta’s regulator can’t see the frac harms for industry’s greed

No Serious response provided to concern of water contamination by Nielle Hawkwood, July 30, 2014, Cochrane Times

2014 07 30 Nielle Hawkwood No serious response by AER to fracing contaminating groundwater concerns

2014 07 30 PART 2 Nielle Hawkwood No serious response by AER to fracing contaminating groundwater concerns

No serious response provided by Nielle Hawkwood, August 1, 2014, Cochrane Times (digital)

re: “Suzuki image of Cochrane contrary to AER’s” July 16, 2014 …

The Alberta Energy Regulators (AER) representatives note that excessive flaring was allowed in the Lochend district for two years. What they fail to mention is that it was only after a great deal of very vocal objection by residents of the area that this lessened somewhat. It still remains a mystery as to what exactly is causing the many health complaints related to the flaring and venting which continues to be allowed. The myriad of chemicals used in fracking ( could produce a wide variety of pollutants in the surrounding air when burned in combination with each other and with hydrocarbons, heavy metals and radioactive materials from deep underground. Many of these possible pollutants are odorless and invisible. No serious attempt has been made to analyze the air quality downwind of fracking operations.

The comment that Alberta Health has not notified the AER of health complaints seems somewhat disingenuous, considering that over the past two years, Alberta Health representatives have been meeting regularly with representatives of the AER, various government agencies and residents of the Lochend regarding these complaints.

At least as important as the air quality issues is the demonstrated decline in water quality not only in the Lochend, but in many areas across the province where high pressure, multi-stage horizontal hydraulic fracturing has been practiced ( The Shale Gas Panel of the Council of Canadian Academies, a scientific panel appointed by the federal government, has stated clearly in its review report (Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada at that this practice has an “unknown effect” on the environment. The oil and gas industry has been allowed to make misleading statements such as “fracking is safe.” There is no scientific basis for this claim.

The reference to neglects to state that many of the chemical formulations used in fracking are considered “proprietary” and are not reported. In addition, information on the chemicals used is not available until some time after the fracking has been done. This leaves no opportunity for pre- and post-testing of water quality related to the chemicals in question, even if residents could afford such testing and if protocols were available for testing water for these substances.

Water testing, which is occasionally offered by some companies, is limited to water wells in a small area close to the fracked well. Water flows, and underground waterways are unknown. Water has been seen to be contaminated as much as three kilometres or further from these wells. Even if a resident manages to ascertain that their drinking water was contaminated by oil and gas extraction activities, the resident must prove which company is responsible and which fracked well was involved. This is impossible when a number of wells are drilled in the district; companies in Alberta are not required to use the tracers in their frack fluids which could identify the well responsible.

The issues involved are very serious for the present and future health of our province and our children. I hope that Albertans will ask their government representatives the questions which desperately need to be answered regarding the type and extent of activity allowed to be carried out by the oil and gas industry in this province.

Nielle Hawkwood
Lochend area near Cochrane

Suzuki image of Cochrane contrary to AER’s by David Feil, July 15, 2014, Cochrane Times

2014 07 15 Suzuki image of Cochrane contrary to AER's, regulator's image is industry's

“Health impacts are not something we equipped to deal with,” said Curran.

[Then why did the AER not get equipped first? Why did the AER allow Albertans to be so poisoned that some became ill and livestock and pets died? Is that the AER’s completely legally immune (now including omissions), “no duty of care” mandate?]

It was also noted that as of January last year there is full public disclosure on operations that use chemicals….

[Are all drilling, lost circulation, blow out, servicing chemicals fully disclosed before the drilling, perforating, fracing, venting, flaring, incinerating and production begins?

When will Albertans get full disclosure of

stop water treatments when fracing into and near drinking water aquifers?


anti-corrosives (including known carcinogen hexavalent chromium)?

cementing additives?

perforation contents including radiological?

servicing and acidizing chemicals?

What about toxics in frac flow back, including radiological, and vented from facilities?

What about toxics not broken down by inefficient incinerating and breathed by all living in and downwind of frac fields?

What about toxics emitted daily from the industrialization of communities?

When will the many Albertans harmed by vertical and deviated fracing from 2001 to 2013 – notably including fracs and treatments in drinking water supplies – get disclosure of the chemicals? ]

“The public has a right to know of developments…and ask questions,” said Willard, [Ernst remains waiting, a decade later, for the regulator to completely, respectfully, appropriately, without deflection and lies, answer her questions. For the most part, new questions by Ernst to the AER, remain disrespectfully deflected, and or ignored. ] adding that Synergy Alberta creates forums for local interests…to meet with industry and form a working relationship.”

[Why is the AER promoting Synergy Alberta?  Synergy transfers the regulator’s and industry’s responsibilities onto harmed citizens and impacted communities.

Synergy is funded entirely by industry and largely controlled by Encana and CAPP. Synergy delivers lies, unenforceable promises and propaganda while frac harms continue unabated and Albertans are left with “no duty of care,” deregulating, no accountability, no justice or restitution.  ]

[Refer also to:

2014 05 24 snap Countenay presentation by Ernst synergy alberta NGOs wrongly defining fracing as only deep horizontal multi-stage

Alberta Synergy protects only industry

Synergy Definition Quash Concerned and Adversely Impacted Voices into Profit for Industry, put Regulator Responsibilities onto Shoulder of Communities

Synergy Alberta Funding

Synergy Alberta Don't Bite the Poisoned Apple Stay Away

Slides from Ernst presentations in Eagle Hill, Alberta, March 2012 and Courtenay, BC, May 2014

AER, Alberta’s new energy regulator seeks the world’s trust, as Alberta’s caprock is frac’d “to Hell”

Judge Upholds Jury Verdict for Parr Family in Texas Frac Case, Judge accepts jury verdict that awarded $2.9 million to the Parrs harmed by Aruba’s wells near their Wise County home

The Mannings in Franklin Forks, PA: Toxic water, vomiting children living near fracking operation

Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction)

2012 07 26 AlbertaHealthReplyToFracingConcernsRaisedbyJessicaErnst

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