Fracking Concerns: Another Fracking “Accident” in Alberta, Imperial Oil Offers to test Westward Ho Spring

Fracking Concerns: Another Fracking “Accident” in Alberta by Florence Havill, Mountain View Gazette
So, it has happened again – another fracking “accident” … Fracking involves injecting highly presssurized water and chemicals into the drill holes. What chemicals? That is a closely-guarded industry secret. But I can tell you that flow-back from contaminated wells has high concentrations of cadmium, benzene, arsenic, napthalene and radioactive radium. In other words, it’s all poison.

Sound like something you want in your drinking water? Can we really allow these processes to go on without protest? Are we so complacent and smug that regulators are doing their job? Let us get behind the hapless farmer and demand answers and action from ERCB. We want full protection under the law for our creeks and rivers and the whole Red Deer River watershed from grasping, greedy multinational giants. [Emphasis added]

Company offers to test Westward Ho spring by Dan Singleton, February 12, 2013, Mountain View Gazette 
Imperial Oil has offered to test a spring on a Westward Ho property that the owner believes may have been contaminated by a recent fracking operation, company officials said. Landowner Chris Huhn says on Jan. 25 he discovered that the spring on the property immediately north of Highway 27 at Rge. Rd. 34 was emitting a very strong sour sulphur odour. He said he believes that it is “entirely possible” that a hydraulic fracturing operation conducted by Imperial immediately northwest of his property starting on Jan. 23 may be responsible for the contamination. “It’s always been good water and it has never smelled like this,” said Huhn. … In response to Huhn’s assertion that fracking may have caused his spring to become contaminated, Imperial spokesperson Christine Graves told the Gazette: “We are committed to working closely with our stakeholders to provide information about our developments and listen to concerns such as Mr. Huhn’s. “We did offer to have a qualified third party test his spring. We offered that within 24 hours of his request but we were not taken up on that offer. The offer still stands that we would be willing to test his spring.” The company has been working with Mr. Huhn since August 2012, providing him with information about the company’s development activities in the area, she said.

“Some of the other items we’ve done, is we’ve modified some of our well flaring activities, including shortening the duration of our flaring,” she said. “We’ve also put in some air monitoring equipment to ensure that we were not impacting the air quality in proximity to Mr. Huhn’s property. “We are committed to continuing to work with him to explore solutions and to address his concerns.” For his part, Huhn said he had requested water testing be conducted before and after last month’s fracking operation. “I said I wanted it tested directly before and directly after because if there is an impact I want to see it right away,” said Huhn. “They said their geologist said there was no risk from the fracking and that they didn’t see a reason to test.” [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: Staying Dirty 

Front Page Spring contaminated after fracking in Mountain View County, Alberta landowner wants answers 

December 2007: Development of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Alberta Environment (AENV) and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB, now ERCB) to enhance collaboration for the protection and management of groundwater

Alberta’s Best in the World ERCB, 2012: “No Duty of Care to Landowners and Groundwater” ]

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