Fracking wastewater clean enough for Dieppe sewer, says company

A Nova Scotia based company that has applied to ship as much as 30 million litres of fracking wastewater to Dieppe says the water is clean.

Envirosystems Inc. says concerns are not based on science

A Nova Scotia-based company that has applied to ship as much as 30 million litres of fracking wastewater to New Brunswick says the water is clean.

Atlantic Industrial Services has applied to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government to release water into the municipal sewerage system in Dieppe.

"This water is leaps and bounds cleaner than what's coming out of the sewage treatment system. Even after it's been treated by the municipal system," said Clint Stewart, senior vice president of parent company Envirosystems Inc.

Stewart said the fracking water has been put through several steps of treatment. First the naturally occurring radioactive materials are removed. Then salts and other potential contaminants are removed by reverse osmosis.

He said the water is kept in an isolation lagoon until tests show it meets all federal and provincial guidelines for discharge.

AIS has had some of the wastewater since 2007.

Officials in Cumberland County, N.S., blocked a plan to dump the water in the Town of Debert, whose sewerage system is connected to the Bay of Fundy.

Stewart said negative reaction to the fracking industry in general has created a road block. 

"This is where science and politics aren't meshing well," said Stewart.

"For whatever reason, probably because it's such a hot-button issue, this water has been treated different than any other," Stewart said.

About 50 people turned out to express their concerns about the proposal at Moncton City Hall.

City councils in Moncton and Dieppe have both said they need more information before they would be willing to support the application. 

New Brunswick's department of environment and local government said public consultations about the proposal would be held soon, as part of the environmental impact assessment process.