The latest threat to P.E.I.'s drinking water is fracking. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It's a gas drilling technique that's an extremely water-intensive process where millions of litres of fluid - typically a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer - are blasted into shale rock beds at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding a gas well. This fracking releases the gas from the rock so it can flow into the well.
The P.E.I. government is still seriously considering allowing fracking on P.E.I. This, despite the fact that fracking has already occurred at least once on P.E.I. with serious consequences. We know this because on Dec. 10, 2007 there was a fracking spill near Green Gables in Cavendish. The company responsible was Corridor Resources.
Fracking for gas on P.E.I. will put our drinking water in serious jeopardy. Our drinking water is already under huge stress from other contaminants.
Groundwater is our only source of drinking water. It must be protected.
There are hundreds of reports of drinking water contamination associated with fracking in the United States and Canada. As well, there is documented evidence of fracking's severe impacts on human and animal health, the environment, and our climate - even small earthquakes.
At the moment, there are no active permits for oil and gas exploration on P.E.I. The leases held by Corridor Resources and other companies for almost 50 per cent of P.E.I. expired this past December. But that is most likely to change. Some experts believe there is a potential of 7.6 trillion feet of coal bed methane in the ground on P.E.I.
The process for issuing exploration rights on P.E.I. begins by an exploration company petitioning the minister of energy to offer for bid a particular area of P.E.I. The minister can give the permit for six years, with up to two years extension. Once the permit is approved, the government has no control over what process of exploration or drilling the company uses. It's a permit to frack away.
We need to protect our drinking water. We need a permanent legislated moratorium on fracking.
Council of Canadians,
and Don't Frack P.E.I.