ERCB and AESRD [“Alberta Health Couldn’t make it”] answers questions about fracking

ERCB and AESRD [“Alberta Health Couldn’t make it”] answers questions about fracking by Kathryn McMackin, December 12, 2012, Cochrane Eagle
In an attempt to soothe the concerns of Rocky View County residents, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the county council hosted an information session on Dec. 6 at the Cochrane RancheHouse. A panel of representatives from Alberta Energy, Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), as well as the ERCB, were on hand to disclose recent developments and answer questions from the public about the oil and gas activity in the area.

“I realize that we need oil and gas, but I want scientific evidence to show they can do what they are doing,” said Larry Koper, who lives in the Lochend area. “There are only two things that are really important to me: water and my family. “I’ve been trying to get answers on my own, but nothing happens.”

“We’re not here to educate, but to provide citizens with the information to understand what’s happening around them,” said Tom McGee, manager of the ERCB’s stakeholder engagement office. At the top of the list of concerns from citizens: flaring, the testing of water and air quality, and disclosure on the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. The latter question was perhaps the most hot button topic of the night, and Bob Willard, senior advisor for the ERCB, was able to break the substance down to three components: proppant, carrier fluid and additives. This answer, however, didn’t seem to be enough for the crowd, who asked repeatedly about the particular chemicals used as additives.

“The specific composition of the fluid used for hydraulic fracturing is unique for each operation,” explained Cara Tobin, senior communications advisor for the ERCB. She added that fracture fluid disclosure is required for each operation as part of Directive 059, a publication of well drilling and completion date filing requirements. “This data is currently available to the public upon request; however, the information is contained within detailed industry reports and searching for it takes time,” she said. “Recognizing there is a demand for easier access to this information, the ERCB is working to have the information posted online so anyone can access it from home.” During his presentation, Willard said the board is working to release this information in an online database by the end of the year.

In an effort to further ease the frets of Rocky View County residents, Willard suggested county residents create a “synergy group” with a variety of stakeholders including land owners, industry professionals and environmental groups. This organization would try to serve as an open forum to discuss oil and gas related information. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:  Fracking grievances aired at Eagle Hill, September 13, 2011 Willard said the ERCB “supports full disclosure” of chemicals used in the process, and added there would be an announcement later this month on the issue.] [Emphasis added]

ERCB Lawyer 2012 letter to Ernst: “However, the ERCB does not currently require licensees to provide detailed disclosure of the chemical composition of fracturing fluids.”

Source of above snaps: Letter from ERCB Lawyer to Ernst in response to repeat requests  by Ernst for chemical disclosure of fracturing fluids injected by EnCana into Rosebud drinking water aquifers and in approximately 200 gas wells fractured above the Base of Groundwater Protection around Rosebud.

Source:  Slides from Ernst presentation September 22, 2012, Whitehorse, Yukon

Source:  Slide from Chapter on Synergy Alberta Ernst Presentation to Eagle Hill Alberta, March 15, 2012

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