Amherst says municipal units need decision-making authority over fracking

Darrell Cole
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If province lifts moratorium on controversial practice of extracting shale gas

Amherst believes municipal units should have the power to approve or deny fracking if the province lifts its moratorium on the controversial practice.

Amherst believes municipal units should have the power to approve or deny fracking if the province lifts its moratorium on the controversial practice.

AMHERST – Amherst feels municipalities should have the final say over whether fracking occurs in Nova Scotia.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, the town passed a resolution it will send to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities fall conference calling for the moratorium to remain that’s presently in place on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Should the province decide to lift the moratorium, the town feels municipal units should be given the legislative and regulatory authority to permit or reject the practice.

“We feel the UNSM should adopt the position that the existing moratorium on hydraulic fracturing should stay in place,” Mayor Robert Small said. “IF the province does lift the moratorium, the UNSM should lobby the province to ensure municipalities are given the power to decide whether hydraulic fracturing may take place within their boundaries and that the process involve public consultations.”

Amherst has expressed its concerns on fracking because of the proximity of the Tyndal Well Field – the town’s water supply – to areas being considered as prime territory for shale gas.

An Alberta company, St. Brendan’s Exploration, was granted onshore exploration rights for three blocks of land in 2011, including one in Cumberland County, while Eastrock Resources of Calgary has the rights to land around Springhill and the game sanctuary.

The previous NDP government placed a moratorium on fracking in place several years ago to give time for a panel to review the practice.

The moratorium was extended last summer and an independent panel, led by Dr. David Wheeler from Cape Breton University was put in place to gather public input and collect information from all stakeholders on the subject.

That review is nearing its conclusion.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, NDP, Cape Breton University

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Alberta, Cumberland County Calgary Springhill

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Recent comments

  • Bill archer
    August 16, 2014 - 02:46

    If they ban fracking in this province, then I am gone. The fear and rhetoric associated with this proven procedure is ridiculous. It can and has been done safely thousands of times, and with proper regulation and control, can be done here to help boost the local and provincial economies. These are the same people who were against the wind farm on the marsh, saying that they would make everyone sick and kill all of the migratory birds. How did that work out?

  • asdf typer
    August 14, 2014 - 15:01

    The Debert radioactivity in the water was naturally occurring, stop associating it to industry standard practices. Be intellectually honest when discussing science. Nothing destroys an argument more than pseudoscience rhetoric.

  • willie wonka
    August 14, 2014 - 12:14

    The disposal of the radioactive Fracking waste water from Debert holding ponds will soon be tanker trucked to Dieppe to be dumped into the Peticodiac River sewage system and continue on to the Bay of Fundy. The diluted radioactive mixture will soon be on the shoreline of Amherst. The majority of the chemicals will be remove but it is impossible to remove radioactivity.