VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the B.C. Governments planned review of fracking isn’t going far enough. The CCPA is concerned that the review will not consider the human health impacts of fracking.
In November, 17 groups called for a full public inquiry was essential to get at what public policy changes are needed to eliminate the health and environmental risks associated with fracking. The groups also demanded a review of the OGC’s lax oversight of the industry.
“In northeast BC, rural communities generally and isolated First Nation communities particularly are directly in harm’s way as the fossil fuel industry further encroaches on our shared lands and waters,” says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Minister Mungall said earlier this month; the review will be done to ensure that fracking in B.C. is meeting the highest safety and environmental standards, and will be carried out by a three-member independent panel consisting of a professor of hydrogeology, a geological engineering professor and a geological engineer and geophysicist.
“We know from preliminary studies that pregnant Indigenous women in the region have potential carcinogens in their blood that are six times higher than the Canadian average. We need nothing less than a full public inquiry that overtly addresses such harsh realities,” said Grand Chief Phillip.
“What the government has done in response to our well-documented concerns is to appoint a far too narrowly focused science panel that very expressly won’t address what public policy and regulatory changes are needed to eliminate the serious health, ecological and climatic risks associated with fracking and all related natural gas infrastructure in this province. This is not a credible process, and we cannot support it,” says Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The Ministry said the panel would report its findings to Mungall before the end of the year.