Monday, March 11, 2013

A Letter from MP Gerry Byrne Regarding Proposals for Hydraulic Fracturing on the West Coast of Newfoundland

Dear Dr. Simpson:

Thank you for your email regarding the process of hydrocarbon extraction
through the process of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. While most oil
exploration and commercial production activity in Canada occurs exclusively
under provincial management and regulation, the federal government does
regulate offshore activity and that which takes place in the Canadian North.
Toxic chemicals, however, are under federal jurisdiction and the process of
fracking is understood to involve the introduction of various chemicals
including various acids and abrasives into the targeted rock formations and
is, therefore, very much under federal oversight.

I have taken great interest in a recent report from the Office of the
Auditor General of Canada through the Commissioner of the Environment, Mr.
Stephen Vaughn, and his review of the regulation and environmental
consequences of fracking in Canada. Mr. Vaughn was definitive in his
findings. He reported that Environment Canada has little to no knowledge of
the consequences to the environment resulting from this process and Health
Canada has no regulation in place regarding the introduction, control and
clean up of toxins introduced into the environment including ground water
basins by this process.

It was noted that potential answers to these questions will not begin to be
derived by federal departments until at least 2014.

For this reason, it is my belief that federal entities should not sanction
fracking projects until the consequences to the environment and to human
health are better understood and are shown to be fully mitigated by an
industrial proponent.

A technical understanding of the process of fracking through the conduct of
scientific research and analysis must be the basis for a decision such as
this. If scientific research and analysis can demonstrate that the process
of fracking is safe and free of any significant environmental and human
health consequences, I would be in favour of its deployment. At this point
in time, however, such cannot be said is the case.

Thank you for taking the time to express your views on this matter. I hope I
have made my views clear to you.


Hon. Gerry Byrne, MP
Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte

Contact Information:
In the Constituency:
14 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Corner Brook NL A2H 1B9
Phone 709 637 4540
Toll Free 1 800 563 9934
Fax 709 637 4537

Email: [email protected]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad he wrote this letter, but I still think Gerry Byrne is a tool.

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