Anti-fracking groups push for external process review

Groups opposed to hydraulic fracking on Newfoundland's west coast rallied together in Corner Brook on Thursday to express environmental and health concerns about the controversial process.
Groups on Newfoundland's west coast are pushing government to commission an external review of the fracking process before thinking about lifting a moratorium on the process, which could threaten Gros Morne's UNESCO status. This is a shot of the view of the hills along the Green Gardens Trail near Trout River, Gros Morne National Park. (Photo courtesy Fraser Metcalfe)

Groups opposed to hydraulic fracking on Newfoundland's west coast rallied together in Corner Brook on Thursday to express environmental and health concerns about the controversial process.

Representatives from 20 groups got together amid concern fracking has fallen off the provincial government's radar.

This stems from a recent report commissioned by Environment Canada that showed fracking's effect on water isn't properly monitored, raising concern over a lack of data.

Anne Marceau, a member of the Gros Morne Alliance, says now is not the time to skip the process of getting a proper scientific study on fracking commissioned. (CBC)
Anne Marceau, with the Gros Morne Alliance, said she wants to make sure no one forgets about the impact it could have on tourism in the national park. 

"It's like we are poised on the edge of something and before we go any further, it's time to slow down and take stock and make sure we are having this very careful review, very careful assessment, that is science-based," said Marceau.

Gros Morne's UNESCO designation could be stripped if the park isn't protected.

The province put a fracking moratorium in place in November, promising a full review of the geological impact on western Newfoundland.

However, the review has yet to be conducted.

Wayne Hounsell, with the Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group, said fracking should get the same review treatment as other major issues in the province.

"They've [the government] done a review of the power outages, they are doing a review on Bill 29, and now we want nothing less," said Hounsell.

Organizers with the groups are now hoping to get government to commit to an external independent review of the fracking process.

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