Precautionary Principle Should Guide New Fracking Regulations, says NFU

(Rimby, AB) – “There are serious gaps in the regulation of fracking in every jurisdiction, and Alberta is no exception,” said Jan Slomp, National Farmers Union Region 7 (Alberta) Board Member. “That is why we have recommended that the Energy Resources Conservation Board adopt the Precautionary Principle as its ultimate guiding principle.”

“This new technology is extremely powerful, and may well be unprecedented in the scope and duration of its impacts,” Slomp continued. “The ability of the industry itself to fully understand its implications is limited. Regulators must ensure that the first priority is to protect our land, water, air and soil. This is why we have submitted our recommendations to the ERCB.”

“As farmers, we bear the brunt of fracking’s impacts,” Slomp emphasized. “My family has to live with the noise, light, dust, traffic and gases emitted from fracking operations day after day. Fracking infrastructure has turned our fields into an obstacle course. We and our neighbours use wells for our own drinking water, for our livestock and to irrigate our produce. The threat of having them irreversibly polluted by fugitive fracking fluids hangs over our heads.”

“Farmers depend upon clean water in our lakes, streams and rivers as direct sources of water and also to recharge the underground aquifers. If spills or improper disposal of produced water contaminate these waters, our land is affected forever,” stated Doug Scott, NFU Board member and Waskatenau-area farmer.  “If these water sources are depleted, it is we who will have to haul water for our farms – or leave.  Worse, within decades the oil and gas will be gone, and the land and water could be spoiled forever by irresponsible and reckless fracking.”

“We look forward to seeing that improvements that will result from implementing public-interest recommendations such as ours to strengthen Alberta’s regulatory framework,” concluded Scott.

- 30 -

For more information:

Jan Slomp, NFU Region 7 (Alberta) Board Member: (403) 843-2068

Doug Scott, NFU Region 7 (Alberta) Board Member: (780) 650-1336

The NFU’s submission to the ERCB is available at http://www.nfu.ca/story/submission-ercb-fracking-regulation