New Brunswick

Residents upset oil and gas company back in N.B.

Some residents of Kent County had hoped Southwestern Resources Canada had abandoned plans to do seismic testing in the area but the company said after a year's absence, it is returning this spring.

People in Kent County were hoping SWN wouldn't continue seismic testing

Some residents of Kent County had hoped Southwestern Resources Canada had abandoned plans to do seismic testing in the area but the company said after a year's absence, it is returning this spring.

People who live in the area are being approached by SWN representatives asking to test their well water.

In an e-mail, the company told CBC News it does have agents in the eastern part of New Brunswick offering to test water and asking for permission to complete seismic testing to determine what is under the ground.

Resident Anne Pohl said she was hoping the company wouldn't come back at all, after it suspended testing last year because it couldn't get the necessary permits in time.

"Well I'm sad because I think it's just not a smart thing to do," said Pohl.

"It seems that the industry and the government are intent on continuing here with allowing the exploration which would theoretically go right into the drilling and the mining and the fracking,"

Opposition remains

Pohl would like to see the government recognize the number of groups across New Brunswick who are opposed to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and follow through on a recommendation for a health impact assessment. 

"That report from the chief medical officer Eilish Cleary — it appears to have been shelved."

SWN maintains that seismic testing is harmless.

A spokesperson for the province said some of the recommendations from Cleary, such as air monitoring, are being done and others will be adopted if a well is actually drilled.
There have been numerous anti-fracking protests across the province. (CBC)

SWN suspended all seismic testing in New Brunswick in August, 2011 following numerous protests and alleged vandalism by people concerned about the controversial hydraulic fracturing process.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydro-fracking, is a process where exploration companies inject a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground, creating cracks in shale rock formations to extract natural gas from areas that would otherwise go untapped.

Opponents are concerned the process will ruin the water supply.

SWN said it has completed testing in several areas of the province, including Salisbury, Havelock, Blackville, Stanley and Chipman.

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