ATIPP legislation supports including public health in fracking review
NDP Environment & Conservation critic George Murphy (St. John’s East) says the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on public health and the environment (including water supplies) should be a strong focus of the panel reviewing the possibility of using the process for oil exploration, whenever it finally announces the dates for the public hearings it is supposed to hold.
This contrasts to New Brunswick, where the premier has said the fracking moratorium will not be lifted without “clear and credible information about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on public health, the environment and water.” A huge concern of medical and environmental specialists in this province is that our panel is not charged with looking at the potential consequences to public health, and there is nobody with specific expertise in the area on the panel.
“Section 9, sub 3 of the new ATTIPP Act underscores the importance of public health and safety and disclosure in the public interest,” Murphy said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the minister, considering that government has already put its stamp of approval on this legislation to be passed shortly, would his government also agree to the importance of appointing a public health professional to the fracking review panel?”
A contentious point here, as in other jurisdictions is whether companies engaged in fracking can be forced to reveal what chemicals are being pumped into the shale rock, often close to wells and public water supplies.
“Would the minister agree that the disclosure of fracking chemicals would also be in the best interests of public health and safety?” Murphy asked.