More Public Disclosure for Fracking

More Public Disclosure for Fracking by Bill Kaufmann, February 22, 2012, Calgary Sun
During a press briefing meant to minimize growing public concerns about the fracking of oil and gas, Cal Hill of the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) said Alberta will likely demand producers notify the public about fracking activities — and the kinds of chemicals they use — by year’s end….But Hill said that, despite anecdotal evidence of ranchers’ tap water igniting following nearby fracking, the jury’s still out on the cause of that phenomenon, adding it could be caused by naturally-present methane. And he said the main threat to water sources are poorly-cemented well bores that can occur in any form of drilling. “There’s no reason to believe there’s any risk to useable water if casing requirements are met,” said Hill, adding casing integrity hasn’t been a problem in Alberta….But Bill Donahue of the environmental group Water Matters said the ERCB’s own numbers show thousands of wells have leaked — a quarter of them from improper casings. “To suggest casing problems are not a problem is just factually incorrect,” said Donohue….“They’re trying to play catch-up and tell people they’re safe rather than identifying the problems,” said Donohue.

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