Dr. Eillish Cleary’s shale gas report avoids moratorium debate

Cleary’s shale gas report avoids moratorium debate by CBC News, October 16, 2012
Dr. Eilish Cleary spoke with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, a day after she released a report outlining her concerns over the potential shale gas industry in New Brunswick. Cleary’s 82-page report recommends requiring a health impact assessment and monitoring the health of the population on an ongoing basis to detect adverse impacts. … She said she approached the study from the point of view of, if the industry were to happen, then what steps would need to be taken to protect citizens. … The cost of funding her recommendations has not yet been determined, but they “will not be insubstantial,” Cleary said in her report. The province’s chief public health officer said her ideas may seem expensive but they are necessary to protect the health of people in the province. “It’s not a question of having costs or no costs. It’s a question of how can we more appropriately spend money to prevent problems? Because the money will be spent anyway, if we have problems and have to fix problems,” she told reporters. “If we can put the money to offset problems, it’s invariably cheaper to do it up front.”

Cleary’s report says existing laws and regulations aren’t adequate to meet public health needs.

Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard said on Tuesday he plans to study Cleary’s report. The Alward government initially would not commit to releasing the contents of Cleary’s report, but it was released in full.

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