Residents of Newfoundland's west coast who oppose plans for fracking near Gros Morne National Park and Stephenville say the province's decision to put applications for fracking on hold is a step in the right direction.
"I think this is a really, really wise thing to do," said Angie Payne, who lives in Sally's Cove, near Gros Morne National Park.
On Monday, Derrick Dalley, Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resources minister, said the province would not consider applications for fracking inside the province until it is satisfied that the process is safe for people and the environment.
'We can't give up yet.' -Angie Payne, N.L. Fracking Awareness Network
Payne is also a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, a group of citizens concerned about the risks of hydraulic fracturing.
"It's great the government is listening to us," Payne continued. "That's what they are there to do. But we can't give up yet."
Applications for fracking near national park
Shoal Point Energy, and its partner, Black Spruce Exploration, had applied to the province for permission to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract oil and gas from sites on the west coast of Newfoundland.
UNESCO indicated that the World Heritage site status of Gros Morne National Park could be at risk if fracking proceeded near its boundaries.
Wayne Hounsell, the chairperson of the Port au Port - Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Groups, said he feels his group's work has had an impact on government's decision.
"We have been working hard for the past eight months to arrive at this level," said Hounsell. "And the government has now seen fit to post the fact that applications won't be accepted until some more work is done."
Hounsell said his committee would like the province to commission an independent review of fracking and its impacts on Newfoundland.