The Fort Nelson First Nation has won a major legal challenge against the BC government and oil and gas company Nexen Inc.
The Environmental Appeal Board, or EAB, cancelled the long-term water license granted for shale gas fracking in the Horn River Basin – effective immediately.
They rejected the license on the grounds of science behind it being ‘fundamentally flawed’ and on the grounds of the Province’s failure to consult the Fort Nelson First Nation in good faith – also breaching its duty to consider the potential environmental impact on the land the license would bring.
Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Liz Logan said granting the license was a mistake by the Province.
“The government needs to know that they need good science and good data to support any of their permits and their projects – and also they need to consult meaningfully with us, and sincerely. Not just give us lip service.” she said.
With this decision, the EAB has set a precedent for future provincially supported fracking and LNG exports.
Licenses will not be able to pass, unless they base decisions for natural resources on valid scientific data, hold meaningful consultations with the First Nations involved, and uphold the public’s interest in preserving BC’s lakes and rivers for future generations.