Fracking B.C for LNG: A Short Note To The Haisla First Nation

Haisla Nation Chief Counsellor Ellis Ross presents BC Premier Christy Clark with a gift to mark the sale of the hospital lands to the First Nation, June 2014.

Haisla Nation Chief Counsellor Ellis Ross presents BC Premier Christy Clark with a gift to mark the sale of the hospital lands to the First Nation, June 2014.  This land is intended for use as an LNG facility.

By Derrick, West Coast Native News,  June 20th, 2014

For 60 years, the Haisla have looked across the channel to see the industrial opportunities that have passed them by. Now with prospect of at least three LNG plants in Kitimat, with the companies and B.C. government inviting them to play a partnership role, the band’s economic future is bright and it seems everyone has a job.

“You just have to look through our community where young people, as young as 25 years old, are buying their first vehicle, brand new, financing,” said Ross. “My daughter is early 20s, she has a mortgage.”

But during a recent visit to Vancouver, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said the fracking issue needs to be addressed in British Columbia. Mr. Kennedy, senior attorney with the U.S. Natural Resource Defence Council, said many Americans are worried about fracking, and Canadians must also be vigilant about maintaining water quality.

The Treaty 8 First Nations assert that plans for LNG export terminals on the West Coast have overshadowed the fracking issue in northeastern B.C.

The northeast B.C. aboriginal leaders want greater scrutiny over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, especially the huge quantities of water that are mixed with chemicals and then pumped into the ground. They are worried about potential water contamination from fracking and also point to air pollution related to sulphur emissions from gas processing.

A report for the Fort Nelson First Nation done by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre says, More than 41 billion litres of water too contaminated for surface disposal has been injected into the well — identified as Well #2240 — since 1968.

“Because waste water is not tracked after disposal,” the study says, “the fate of this massive quantity of waste water is unknown.”

It warns that B.C.’s regulatory framework governing safe disposal of the more than 100 billion litres of such contaminated waste water generated during B.C.’s rapidly expanding fracking operations to recover natural gas is “clearly inadequate” and says regulation lags behind standards in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Fracking, an increasingly common method of extracting natural gas, contains hundreds of toxic chemicals which contaminates ecosystems and impacts human health.

Fracking, an increasingly common method of extracting natural gas, contains hundreds of toxic chemicals which contaminates ecosystems and impacts human health.

Fracking injects large volumes of hydraulic fluid — water treated with chemical and other additives ­— into underground shale formations. Rock shatters and natural gas is released. The technology has triggered a global natural gas boom.

The process can mean repeat injections of up to 20,000 cubic metres of hydraulic fluid into a well. Most fracking fluid remains in the well, but significant quantities of contaminated water flow back out during production. This toxic fluid sometimes brings up natural radioactive material.

The Fort Nelson First Nation is worried because three of British Columbia’s four major shale gas plays occur within its territory. Planned expansion to achieve B.C.’s liquefied natural gas strategy will require fracking operations there to increase 600 times.

Just a couple of days ago, Premier Christy Clark travelled to the northern British Columbia town of Kitimat on Tuesday to mark the sale of land to a local First Nation and extol the virtues of liquefied natural gas —- the same day the federal government approved a controversial pipeline that would end in the community.

Clark appeared at an event in Kitimat, where the Haisla Nation has reached a deal with the province to buy the site of a former downtown hospital, which was demolished in 2005.

The land has sat idle since then, although it is now considered prime real estate with the growth of industrial projects such as the $3.3-billion Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Modernization project at the aluminum smelter, as well as proposed LNG developments such as Shell-led LNG Canada and the Chevron-led Kitimat LNG projects.

“It’s time for economic development,” said Clark. “It will be such a big part of creating lots of energy, lots of jobs in the community but it’s really a demonstration of the partnerships that we’re going to have to have to make LNG and prosperity work in British Columbia.”

Fracking protest signsRecently a Texas family was awarded $3 Million in Nation’s First Fracking Trial, A Dallas jury favored the Parr family, which sued Aruba Petroleum back in 2011 after experiencing an array of health issues attorneys argued were the result of dozens of gas wells in the area. The family was awarded nearly $3 million in what attorneys believe was the first-ever fracking trial in U.S. history.

The family lives in Wise County, which is surrounded by gas wells from Aruba Petroleum and other firms. Bob, Lisa and their young daughter, Emma, all noticed the deterioration of their health in the months after fracking operations begin in the immediate area, some time in 2008. Lisa reported breathing difficulties, nausea and headaches, while Bob said he began having about three nosebleeds per week, compared to the rest of the 50-year-old’s life.

“We can’t drink our well water,” Bob Parr told FOX 4 of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2011. “We can’t breathe the air without getting sick.”

Young Emma also suffered nosebleeds, along with rashes and nausea. She was soon diagnosed with asthma.

Chemicals Found In Water At Fracking Sites Linked To Infertility, Cancer and birth defects

An analysis of water samples from hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ sites found the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals, according to a new study published in the journal Endocrinology.

“With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure,” senior author Susan Nagel told The LA Times.

The study tested surface water and groundwater samples in Garfield County, Colorado — one county at the center of the U.S. fracking boom — and found elevated levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs. The chemicals have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer.

Burning Water

In the Rosebud River valley, an hour east of Calgary, the water in many homes can be lit on fire. Everyone agrees there’s gas in the water. Few agree on why.

At Fiona Lauridsen’s farm, just outside the hamlet of Rosebud, Fiona and her family got skin burns in the shower. Fiona claims that EnCana, Canada’s largest natural gas company, contaminated the aquifer by drilling (fracking) for coal bed methane, a new source of natural gas extraction that often uses chemicals for drilling. Yet in the hamlet, where the Rosebud Theatre is a popular tourist attraction, most residents refuse to even talk about burning water, for fear of harming the tourist industry. A government minister blamed the contamination on improper well maintenance on the part of the farmer. Other scientist’s disagree, and Fiona thinks the government is deflecting attention away from the negative consequences of an energy boom that’s bringing record profits to the province.

As gas wells sprout up across North America, and all around Rosebud, the Lauridsen family struggles to stay together and remain part of their community, at the same time confronting the dark truth of what may be happening beneath the surface.

Jessica Ernst’s

Members of Unis'tot'en camp, November 2012.

Members of Unis’tot’en camp, November 2012.

After wells were fracked near hear home, scientist Jessica Ernst’s water is now so contaminated that it can now be lit on fire. Ernst is suing EnCana Corporation, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, and the Alberta government for contamination of her property and drinking water.

Fracking is the forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, especially to extract oil or gas. The fracking liquid is a mixture of poisonous chemicals, propants and water

The 2011 Academy Award nominated film Gasland documents results of fracking including contaminated drinking water, hazardous air pollution, and negative health impacts

Due to the environmental concerns, fracking is banned in the State of Vermont, many towns in New York, and the countries of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and France.

Speaking to worldwide audiences, Ernst has traveled to Ireland and to the United Nations in New York City where she received UNANIMA International’s “Woman of Courage” award for her efforts to hold companies accountable for environmental harm done by fracking.

Jessica Ernst, from Rosebud, Alberta, Canada, is a biologist and environmental consultant to the oil and gas industry.

Talisman frackwater pit leaked for months, kept from public

A pit storing contaminated fracking water in northeast BC was leaking into the surrounding soil and groundwater for up to six months before owner Talisman formally notified the Oil and Gas Commission and undertook clean-up efforts, The Common Sense Canadian has learned.

One of five lined pits connected to Talisman’s Farrell Creek operations north of Hudson’s Hope, referred to as Pond A, suffered a puncture through both of its protective layers, causing toxic fluids to begin escaping into the environment. The pits are used to store “produced water” from previous fracks to be reused later as part of a program to cut back on freshwater use. Ironically, this practice has now threatened local groundwater due to the ruptured liners.

(Clean LNG) (Green Fuel) (The Cleanest Fossil Fuel on the Planet)

Natural gas has been a divisive issue for environmentalists. Before the problems with fracking came to light, natural gas was pushed by many environmental groups as a bridge fuel to move beyond coal. Indeed, once out of the ground, natural gas does burn more cleanly than coal and produces far fewer carbon emissions than coal or petroleum.

Unis'tot'en solidarity rally in Vancouver, BC, outside of regional office of Apache Canada.

Unis’tot’en solidarity rally in Vancouver, BC, outside of regional office of Apache Canada.

However, fracking is not our energy savior. For one, the process still needs refining and the amount of methane that leaks from fracking operations nearly negates any carbon benefit to natural gas. The process is also extremely water intensive and uses a chemical concoction. The result is that fracking communities across the country are suffering from mysterious health consequences and water supplies are being contaminated due to improper disposal of fracking fluids, leaks or Incidents.

While most people in the north are against the oil pipeline, they seem to be accepting the LNG plants. Yes, the LNG plants will provide some employment, but they are still going to run pipelines across our home land, and if you get educated you will soon see that the damage done by fracking for natural gas is as damaging as the tar sands.

There are at least 13 proposals to build plants that would take in gas from northeastern B.C.’s vast shale deposits, supercool it and load it on to tankers bound for Asia. We ask Chief Ellis Ross of the Haisla First Nation and all other Nations to rethink there plan to be apart of these proposals, Even though your territory will not be directly Fracked,The NorthEast of B.C will see the direct impacts that these proposals will have. The destruction of the land and poisoning of the water on Turtle island should never be on the table for any band’s or nation’s economic future.

Posted on June 20, 2014, in Oil & Gas and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This a dangerous earthquake area too. Fractured rock can facilitate devastating destruction. But, really, we need to hold the water sacred for life. It’s already in short supply

  2. assimilation is assimilation no matter whether is through residential schools or economics

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