Ban urged on treatment of frack waste water

Ban urged on treatment of frack waste water by Remo Zaccagna, October 21, 2012, The Chronical Herald
A national citizens group is seeking a provincial ban on the treatment of fracking waste water. The call from the Council of Canadians came Friday, days after it was revealed that seven million litres of fracking waste water went through Windsor’s sewage treatment plant between March 2010 and August 2011, was subsequently processed and then pumped into the Minas Basin before the province put a stop to it.

In an interview Saturday, Angela Giles, the Atlantic regional organizer for the Council of Canadians, said she was surprised “not only that the Windsor municipality had allowed for this fracking waste water to go through their sewage system, but also that (Belliveau) was confident, despite the fact that there was no testing, that it was fine.”

The company also has 4.5 million litres of waste water from a hydraulic fracturing operation it wants to treat at its Debert facility and has applied to the Municipality of the County of Colchester to have it transferred to the municipal sewage treatment plant.

In April, four researchers from the University of New Brunswick released an eight-page opinion paper that highlighted concerns about hydraulic fracturing, particularly the treatment and disposal of water. They said fracking “should not proceed unless there is an environmentally responsible option for disposal of waste water.” In an interview Saturday, Tom Al, a hydrogeologist at UNB in Fredericton and a co-author of the paper, said municipal treatment plants are not equipped to fully remove any of the salt compositions that can be found in fracking waste water but, rather, dilute it. [Emphasis added]

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