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.