Fracking waste can be cleaned for disposal: minister

The Nova Scotia government says a waste management company has found a way to safely clean up millions of litres of treated water left over from fracked wells.

Nova Scotia government says filtered water meets Health Canada's disposal guidelines

A jar holding waste water from hydraulic fracturing, right, sits beside a jar of recycled water at a recycling site in Midland, Texas, Sept. 24, 2013. The drilling method known as fracking uses huge amounts of high-pressure, chemical-laced water to free oil and natural gas trapped deep in underground rocks. With fresh water not as plentiful companies have been looking for ways to recycle their waste. (The Associated Press)

The Nova Scotia government says a waste management company has found a way to safely clean up millions of litres of treated water left over from fracked wells.

Environment Minister Randy Delorey released a statement Friday saying the process developed by Atlantic Industrial Services in Debert can clean the waste to the point that it poses a "minimal risk" to the health of Nova Scotians and the environment.

Delorey said independent laboratory results show the filtered water meets disposal guidelines set by Health Canada and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.

The minister shared the test results at a public meeting Thursday in Truro, saying the water is safe for disposal — but the government has yet to grant final approval.

About five million litres of hydraulic fracturing waste water — including some from New Brunswick — is being stored in holding ponds in Debert.

Another 20 million litres of waste water is being held in two ponds near Kennetcook, N.S., where three test wells were drilled and fracked in 2007-08.

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