March 9, 2011 CCNB Press Release
For Immediate Release
Fredericton – Québec’s Minister of Sustainable Development and Environment, Pierre Arcand, has followed in the footsteps of New York State in announcing a two year freeze on new shale gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing, while Québec conducts a strategic environmental impact assessment of the industry. CCNB has been calling for the New Brunswick government to establish such a moratorium since last November.
“Québec’s decision reinforces our efforts to have Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup institute a moratorium here in New Brunswick on behalf of the environment and community health and well being,” said Stephanie Merrill, CCNB’s Freshwater Program Coordinator.
The Québec Commission of the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) spent six months studying the industry, and holding public hearings across the province. “We are still waiting for New Brunswick to engage citizens about their views on shale gas development,” said Merrill.
Québec Minister Arcand indicated that there will be no compromises on the health and the environment in Québec and that it will be done correctly or not at all. Similar words have been said by the New Brunswick Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup, however the new Brunswick government has pushed off any thought of calling a moratorium.
“We have had no studies, no public hearings and yet our government is willing to move forward with shale gas development while Quebec clearly is not” says David Coon, Executive Director at CCNB.
“Our government needs to follow New York and Quebec and also put the best interest of our people and our air, land and water on top of the priority list,” says Coon. “Daily, there are more municipalities, counties, states and now provinces putting a halt to this practice before it gets out of hand – New Brunswick should follow suit.”
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David Coon, Executive Director, CCNB: 458.8747, 461.1023
Stephanie Merrill, Freshwater Protection, CCNB: 458.8747