Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
6 Tuesday April 21 2015 POLITICS ENERGY Flood Season Its flood season again. Flood season typically goes from late April through to mid-June. If you live in a flood risk area you should be preparing by ensuring your property and possessions are protected from the damaging effects of floods. Staying informed having an emergency plan in place and an emergency kit ready are three important steps that everyone should take to ensure they are prepared. Flood Season Emergency preparedness is everyones responsibility. Be prepared. For more information and resources on emergency preparedness go to 684-108E NNSL MP accuses NWT premier of passing buck on fracking review as new regulations tour territory By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Federal MP Dennis Bevington joined the fray of residents calling for the territorial gov- ernment to slow down with moving forward on its new rules for hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the NWT. Bevington said the GNWT should focus on conducting a study on the regional cumula- tive effects of fracking to determine the risks and benets of the unconventional method for drilling shale oil and gas before develop- ing regulations. The GNWT is conducting public hear- ings on new hydraulic fracturing regulations without having any idea of the cumulative impacts of this development Bevington said. Only once we know the cumulative impacts of hydraulic fracturing should the GNWT be proposing regulations. By taking a piecemeal project-by-project approach to regulating unconventional petroleum devel- opment we fail to get the big picture view of the impact on the environment. The department of Industry Tourism and Investment ITI is currently on a tour to en- gage the public on its recently released frack- ing regulations throughout much of the ter- ritory where senior bureaucrats heard from residents in Inuvik Fort Good Hope Norman Wells and Tulita last week. At every stop community members ex- pressed concern that the meetings part of the governments 90-day review process for the regulations are being rushed. Often the conversation shifted from the regulations to questions of whether or not fracking should be permitted at all in the NWT. Local govern- ments voiced a desire for more time to carry out legal and technical reviews of the new rules. Others expressed disappointment that no MLAs or ministers attended the sessions and that meetings were scheduled during the workday rather than the evening. Bevington echoed those concerns accus- ing the territorial government of passing the buck to the federal government in its alleged rush to approve fracking. Last year the Sahtu Dene and Mtis called for such a regional review but Premier McLeod tried to pass the buck to the federal government said Bevington citing a letter from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Devel- opment Minister Bernard Valcourt in which the federal government supports the GNWTs ability to conduct its own review of fracking. It is our view that there is nothing pre- venting the Government of the Northwest Territories from commencing the monitor- ing of cumulative impacts at a regional level now the letter states. Bevington said the review should take place through the Mackenzie Valley Envi- ronmental Impacts Review Board to be the most cost effective. Cumulative impacts being monitored GNWT The GNWT maintains that it already car- ries out the cumulative impacts monitoring mentioned by Bevington but failed to directly address the MPs comments when questioned. Signicant research and monitoring re- lated to hydraulic fracturing is underway in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Terri- tories reads a document from the depart- ment of Environment and Natural Resources ENR forwarded to The Journal in response to questions last week. This work will ensure a representative baseline data set is collected. Among those initiatives is the Sahtu Envi- ronmental Research and Monitoring Forum a three-way information exchange between industry Sahtu communities and government to set environmental monitoring policies for the region and enhance collaborations be- tween monitoring agencies. Monitoring work is also being conducted in the Sahtu under the Cumulative Impacts Monitoring Program inherited from Canada throughdevolutiononlandscapechangeswa- tersheddisturbanceandbenthicinvertebrates. An industry-funded Environmental Studies Research Fund has also been established for the Sahtu with studies focusing on surface and groundwater assessment caribou genetic diversity forest succession and regeneration and traditional spatial knowledge. ENR in partnership with Sahtu com- munities has also completed three years of community-based water quality monitoring at 15 sites in the region. Many of the sites were selected for pre-hydraulic fracturing baseline work the document states. A similar response from ITI indicated that the existing environmental review process sufciently ensures projects meet require- ments and that the new regulations will only serve to enhance that system. The review process will not change and review boards will continue to play a key role in the system according to the department. The NWT oil and gas regulator announced last week that it had signed an agreement with the BC Oil and Gas commission to join their online fracking chemical disclosure site FracFocusistheprimarymethodmostcom- paniesandgovernmentshaveoptedforinorder to make information public on the composi- tion of fracking uids and chemical additives. Though the proposed NWT regulations do not require mandatory disclosure they will ask companies outright to voluntarily release information on their fracking uids to the public on the FracFocus website. The original FracFocus an industry- funded site run by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Ground- water Protection Council is currently under review by the U.S. Environmental Protec- tion Agency EPA. The rst report from the EPA released last month found problems with the fact that the site allows companies to refrain from report- ing anything deemed to be a trade secret. At least one ingredient from 70 per cent of all well reports uploaded between January 2011 and February 2013 was kept condential due to proprietary rights. FracFocus recently announced it would be undergoing improvements to make the information more transparent and easier to analyze. PhotoBobWilson Yellowknifers march against fracking in the Northwest Territories as part of the 2014 Global Frackdown protest. NWT regulator joins FracFocus