New Brunswick

Nova Scotia firm pitches fracking wastewater plan to Dieppe

Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre says Atlantic Industrial Services still has many questions to answer before the city allows the Nova Scotia-based company to dump 30 million litres of treated fracking waste water into its sewer system.

Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre says council still has questions for Atlantic Industrial Services

Atlantic Industrial Services sent officials to Dieppe this week to begin answering questions from city politicians over the company's plan to dump 30 million litres of treated fracking waste water into its sewer system.

The company is seeking approval to ship three tanker truck loads of wastewater every day, five days a week, for two years from its facility in Debert, N.S.

Company officials appeared in front of Dieppe council this week to answer questions from local councillors.

Lapierre said more answers are needed before city council will make a decision on the proposal.

“I want to try to take the emotions out of the equation,” he said.

“Every time the word fracking is mentioned, obviously people get emotional about it. We're trying, as a council and myself as mayor, to take all the emotions out of it, just look at the data. So that's why we continue to ask for information.”

The mayor said he and other councillors want the company to explain why, if the water is so clean, it can’t stay in Nova Scotia.

The municipal council in Colchester County rejected treated wastewater from the same company over concerns about high levels of sodium chloride and some radioactive material.

The company has said it has improved its treatment system to reduce those levels.

Waiting for EIA

Lapierre said there is still some doubt hanging over the project and he would like to hear from more independent experts and “people who don't have skin in the game.”

For instance, Dieppe’s mayor said the city is awaiting the outcome of an environmental impact assessment that is being carried out by the Department of Environment and Local Government.

The provincial government said it's not yet sure when that report will be finished.

Atlantic Industrial Services did not respond to requests for an interview about the proposal.

Bernard LeBlanc, the general manager of TransAqua, which was formally known as the Greater Moncton Wastewater Commission, said his organization is planning to visit the company's site in Nova Scotia

“Just so we can get comfortable [with] how the process works, how it's treated, what we would see as an end product,” he said.

The Petitcodiac Riverkeepers are also hoping the public will be consulted on the proposal and more information will be made available about the safety and cleanliness of the water.

"It amazes me, why would you truck 151 kilometres material that you could probably bring to a site not more than 30 kilometres away, that in itself from a business perspective, makes me wonder, why,”  said Paul Belliveau with the Petitcodiac Riverkeepers.

Belliveau said he hopes the new Liberal government will take a close look at this proposal.


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