Gas Patch Lie-Ability

Gas Firm notes water liability by Bob Spring, Manager Fraser Valley Gas Project, January 23, 1991, Langley Times

… Mr. Ferguson is understandably concerned about protection of his groundwater supply. This is an issue which has received a great deal of attention from groundwater experts So what? Many “experts” are oil and gas industry pollution enablers and engage in fraud to keep the crimes happening (too many examples to list), the public and the project companies.

The Fraser Valley Gas Project has stated to the commission, the provincial government and the public that we are fully responsible against any damages which we cause. The provincial inquiry has researched this legal obligation. What good does any legal obligation, rule, law, “best practice,” promise, voluntary guideline do any Canadian after their groundwater is contaminated or run dry by an oil and gas company? Do you have a million dollars to throw away in legal fees and associated court costs to maybe (after 20 years or more of unbearable stresses and endless betrayals), if you are ultra lucky, win ten or thirty thousand dollars (environmental wins in Canada are shamefully tiny)? Canadian courts (and regulators) have proven they intentionally lie in rulings (and summaries to the media) and that the oil and gas industry is above the law (AER is 100% funded/led by industry). Politicians, lawyers, companies, regulators and “experts” piss on the rule of law too often, to suit their own wants, egos and careers, and to further abuse and or violate rights of industry-harmed citizens.

The inquiry also contracted an insurance expert to report on the availability of adequate insurance coverage for residents in the vicinity of gas production or storage. The results of these studies will be available to all of us shortly, and we will be responsible to any recommendation for improvement. What good will that do any resident after industry’s gas leaks into groundwater, rendering it too dangerous to use even to flush toilets, as happened to mine? I asked Encana often to give me its liability insurance policy and or provider. Encana refused.

The Fraser Valley Gas Project has committed to an unprecedented ground water protection program In the oil and gas industry, commitments mean nothing, not even to investors, never mind water well owners and residents. Encana promised many communities in Alberta, SK and BC that too – after the company had already repeatedly illegally frac’d my community’s drinking water aquifers. All residential water wells within one km of each drillsite will be tested before and after drilling (at our expense) to provide an accurate record of water quality.

If our activity were to cause a problem with a resident’s water, we would provide an immediate supply to that property owner while we restored their original water supply by whatever means are necessary.

Gas Patch Propaganda Check:

Industry/enabling regulator lies, secrets and promises give us the same con, decade after decade after decade. Industry has proven the only way to protect drinking water and public health is to not drill in or around communities or homes and farms. How does one unfrac (restore) frac’d drinking water aquifers?

After our aquifers were contaminated, Encana/Ovintiv kept frac’ing and refracing hundreds of gas wells into fresh water zones in our community, with regulators’ blessings.

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Another Encana lie. The company did not provide necessary water to Ponoka ranchers or residents in Redland and Rosebud and elsewhere.

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2013: The Alberta regulator’s outside counsel, Glenn Solomon (white font), outlined how industry gags the harmed, so that companies can pollute again down the street:

End Gas Patch Propaganda Check.

The project companies will carry more than $100,000 million in insurance to cover any potential damages. But, companies in this project and future ones, like Encana, will not share with you who their insurers are. Unless you are willing to settle for a tiny bit and lose your right to freedom of expression by signing a gag order to get that tiny bit, gas ‘n oil patch-harmed Canadians are on their own. Regulators will further harm you, violate your rights, bully you, try to frighten and silence you, follow you, lie about you to the RCMP, and engage in fraud and lie in court (with judges accepting the lies) to enable corporate crimes.

The groundwater experts have stated there is a very low risk that the groundwater aquifers will be contaminated by the proposed drilling program. That’s what they all say. In 2006, after numerous resident and ranch water supplies were contaminated in Alberta, regulators and politicians claimed publicly in their dog and pony shows, that the industry had never contaminated groundwater anywhere. Encana’s hydrogeologist promised Rosebud and Redland the same – even after his “experts” had already completed an investigation into water wells gone bad in Redland (detailed in a formal report that was withheld from the public and harmed communities) after the company’s illegal activities, concluding however that Encana was innocent while heinously blaming our local water well driller. A few years later, Alberta’s water regulator finally investigated, and blamed a single mom B&B owner, before any test results were in!


Gas-storage foes to target premier by Harold Munro, November 28, 1990, The Vancouver Sun

… “Now we really start to fight and we go after Vander Zalm and the provincial government,” said lawyer Charles McLean of Langley, whose fiery speech drew a standing ovation from the overflow crowd of about 600 at Langley secondary school.

The rally was organized by McLean and others from the Friends of the Fraser Valley, a citizen’s group formed nine months ago to oppose natural-gas drilling and storage as proposed by a consortium of three gas companies. The citizens’ group, started by about 20 people, now has a membership of more than 1,000. Where did the powerful integral and real citizen groups go? Other than two communities in Alberta – Lethbridge and Oil town Calgary – that loudly said “No!” and many communities in NL, NS, NB, PEI, and Quebec, they’ve been eaten alive by Synergy Alberta and it’s vile helpers, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club, SPOG (Sundre Petroleum Operator’s Group), Ecojustice (previously Sierra Legal Defence Fund, complete with oil patch lawyer dancing from time to time on the board – I asked for their help when I first began trying to warn people about frac’ing and Encana’s law violations, they refused, saying my case is not in the public interest!~), Council of Canadians, Nature Conservancy, etc. These non-citizen groups get the harmed to say they are not opposed, or promote them not being opposed even while they suffer endless harms, and or enable the industry in other slippery ways like asking for regulations.

….MLAs for Langley Carol Gran and Dan Peterson and provincial Energy Minister Jack Davis were invited to attend the meeting, but did not attend.

Gas-company representatives were not invited. Nor was David Anderson, the commissioner appointed by the provincial government to make recommendations on natural-gas storage.

… Illinois farmer Lodene Clark, whose trip to B.C. was paid for by the Friends, said in September that natural gas is bubbling to the surface of her 80-hectare Illinois farm.

She related her story…voicing concerns about groundwater contamination and the ever-present danger of a gas explosion. …

Another panelist was Insurance Corporation of B.C. chairman Ray Addington, who said: “With one stroke of the pen, Vander Zalm can stop all of this nonsense.”

Addington, an Aldergrove resident, said he tried to insure his property against the risk of groundwater contamination in the event the gas project goes ahead, but was told that type of insurance was not available.

Frank Hamilton, general manager of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C., confirmed there is no insurance available to property owners.

Refer also to:

Slides from Ernst presentations

2006: My water, after Encana’s many illegal fracs into the aquifers that supply my well:


Poster by Will Koop of BC Tap Water Alliance

“Bitter denial of justice” is the Canadian Way when it comes to corporate polluters but: Dear Shannon, Québec, Please, keep going! Keep going! Environmental wins in Canada are rare, often tiny, usually insulting to the harmed, but you’ve been treated better by the courts than I have and your lawyers didn’t quit like my lawyers, Murray Klippenstein & Cory Wanless, did.

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