Water Issues

Tribute to water specialist, Stephanie Merrill

Jim Emberger & Stephanie Merrill

Jim Emberger & Stephanie Merrill

The struggle to keep unconventional gas and oil development (UNGOD) out of New Brunswick is a story filled with many actors, heroes and organizations, each playing important and vital roles.

However, for many of us involved in that struggle, the seeds for our victory were largely sown by a single person – Stephanie Merrill, the Water Specialist at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.  What follows is our special tribute to Stephanie, who is now heading out to share her expertise with the Global Water Futures program at the University of Saskatchewan.

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Latest News & Studies on Fracking

Fracking and Water Contamination

Many of you may remember Dr. John Cherry, the internationally recognized expert on groundwater contamination, whom NBASGA brought to New Brunswick to testify at the Commission on Hydrofracturing. His testimony was very influential, as he pointed out that no place in the world was actually monitoring what happened to methane (and other substances) that leaked from shale gas wells. Thus, regulations were meaningless, as no one knew where methane was going or what effects it was causing.

Now, Dr. Cherry and colleagues have released the first study to track methane’s voyage through an aquifer, and they conclude that:

“methane gas leaking from energy industry wells can travel great distances in groundwater and pose safety risks, contaminate water and contribute to climate change.”

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Stop chasing a fossil fuel dinosaur

Commentary by Jim Emberger (Fredericton Gleaner, 7 February 2017)

Donald Trump’s resurrection of the Keystone pipeline has some pundits worried that Energy East may be cancelled. This in turn has some editorialists calling for a return to shale gas as New Brunswick’s saviour.

Apparently they have forgotten that five conditions must be met before the shale gas moratorium can be lifted. New studies furnish examples why those conditions are unlikely to be met.

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Dr. John Cherry honoured for contributions to water studies

On World Water Day, Canadian hydro-geologist Dr. ‍JohnCherry was awarded this year’s Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize during Singapore’s World Water Week.   The prize honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organizations towards solving the world’s water challenges by applying innovative technologies, policies or programs, which benefit humanity.  

In November, Dr. ‍Cherry spoke to the NB Commission on Hydrofracturing about the risks of groundwater contamination and shale gas extraction.

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Shale Gas Experiment – Dr. John Cherry Presentation

Video of Dr. John Cherry’s ‘Shale Gas Experiment” presentation in Fredericton, November 17, 2015.  See our previous post for details, written statements and press coverage of Dr. Cherry’s visit. Thanks to Rob Turgeon (Apple Hill Video), who enabled us to provide the full presentation online.

 

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The Shale Gas Experiment

“From my hydrogeological perspective, shale gas development should be viewed as a big experiment for which we have minimal scientific basis for predicting the outcome for impacts on groundwater quality of stray gas.”
~Dr. John Cherry

In recent years, New Brunswick media have been filled with the opinions and scientific claims of both opponents and supporters of shale gas development. To provide clarity about some of these claims and to continue its efforts to bring objective science on the issue of shale gas to the citizens of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance invited respected hydrogeologist, Dr. John Cherry to Fredericton.

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EPA report shouldn’t be used to support hydro-fracking

JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY
The Daily Gleaner October 7, 2015 

For four years the shale gas industry dominated local media via coverage of the pro-shale Alward government. Industry and its allies frequented the business sections and held province-wide“information”sessions.

And yet, they couldn’t make their case.

Now these same groups have created a website to provide a supposedly uninformed public with information it somehow missed.

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NBASGA presentation to New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing

On August 19, 2015 a delegation of three NBASGA members traveled to Fredericton to present our case against UNGOD (UNconventional Gas and Oil Development)  to the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing.

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EPA Report says lack of data is the problem

Commentary by Jim Emberger

Judging from editorial page content regarding the new EPA draft report on hydrofracturing, only a few writers have read beyond the single, misleading headline repeated in the media, which said that the EPA did not find“widespread or systemic impacts on drinking water.”

The report itself offers two equally plausible explanations for that finding. It said that maybe there really aren’t widespread impacts, but that it’s just as likely that the poor quality and limited quantity of data made it impossible to judge the size of impact. The following quotes from the report cite these shortcomings.

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