Tell Us What’s Being Done to Our Groundwater, Demand Albertans

Tell Us What’s Being Done to Our Groundwater, Demand Albertans, Push for transparency after province closed once-public records on aquifer quality by Andrew Nikiforuk, October 17, 2011,
Don Davidson, a former oil patch worker, says he got interested in the issue when groundwater experts with the Alberta Geological Survey and Geological Survey of Canada told him they couldn’t get access to water chemistry reports on rural water wells. “It was restricted by Alberta Health and Wellness,” says Davidson…. Without access to long-term data on water quality and contents, scientists can’t determine any groundwater trends, explains Davidson: “I think that’s wrong.”“Public documents should not be secret documents,” say Shawn and Ronalie Campbell in their submission. The ranching couple from Ponoka, Alberta have lost water wells due to contamination from nearby fracking and drilling operations. “I think this hearing is really important,” adds Jessica Ernst…. “Contaminated water does not stay put. It moves and will affect others. The data on water chemistry for the province’s water wells needs to be made public,” … Alberta Health and Wellness has a reputation for secrecy. … Transparency has been an issue for the privacy commissioner too. When Jessica Ernst submitted a freedom of information request on baseline water well data in 2008, the most important records were censored or withheld. She requested and was granted an inquiry, but her submission was shared with four “secret” parties in the oil and gas industry: EnCana, PetroBakken, Schlumberger and the Energy Resources and Conservation Board. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: How Alberta Will Fight Fracking Folk Hero Jessica Ernst, In famous flaming water case, regulator to argue ‘no duty of care’ to landowners or groundwater by Andrew Nikiforuk, January 16, 2013, ]

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