The Peace Environment and Safety Trustees Society is criticizing the new Oil and Gas Activities Act.
The Society sent a letter addressed to Energy Minister Bill Bennett, the CEO of the Oil and Gas Commission Alex Ferguson and the Minister of Health Kevin Falcon. The letter points out what the Society considers to be significant problems with the new regulations.
The PEST letter states that there is vague and unenforceable language used to address pollution of water wells. It also points out several exemptions that the Society believes gives industry the ability to get around rules on mandatory setbacks, emergency response plans and systems used to detect gas leaks.
PEST is calling on the Ministry of Health and various local Health Authorities to help supervise the oil and gas industry in the province.
It wants an agreement to be developed between the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, the OGC, and the Ministry of Health Services, as well as with local Health Authorities, to amend the new regulations and incorporate industry and health monitoring.
The new Oil and Gas Activities Act came into effect on Oct. 4.