The mayor of Dieppe, N.B., says council needs answers before making a decision on whether to dispose of treated fracking wastewater from Nova Scotia.
Atlantic Industrial Services (AIS), a company that takes wastewater from other companies and treats it, needs to get rid of 30 million litres of wastewater currently being held in Debert, N.S., near Truro.
Officials in Debert have unanimously rejected allowing AIS to put the so-called flowback water into the town's sewer system, so the company is looking to Dieppe as a disposal site.
Mayor Yvon Lapierre said he's committed to protecting the city's citizens and infrastructure, but it's impossible to make a decision on the proposal without more information.
“Our staff have a list of questions to inquire about — Why is this practice been discontinued in Nova Scotia? Why is it that they want to come here? Why was this site selected? — a whole series of 14 questions that we have sent back to ministry of the environment that we are asking them to answer," he said.
Lapierre said almost 50 questions have been sent regionally to New Brunswick's environment minister.
The Department of Environment is currently considering the environmental impacts of AIS's proposal.
The company has proposed getting rid of the 30 million litres of wastewater over two years by shipping three tanker truck loads every day, five days a week.
"We haven't closed the book. We're saying, 'answer our questions,'" said Lapierre.
"We don't want this to be an emotional reaction, or a political reaction, so we're trying to analyze the answers we expect to get and from there, council will be in a better position to make a decision."
The provincial government has to approve the AIS's environmental impact assessment before Dieppe council can even consider the project.
That assessment said the treated water "meets the Dieppe municipal sewer discharge criteria, and if released to the environment would pose no human health risk or environmental risk.”
In Debert, the municipal council rejected treated wastewater from the same company over concerns about high levels of sodium chloride and some radioactive material.
AIS says it has improved its treatment system to reduce those levels.