TRURO - If fracking wastewater from Atlantic Industrial Services (AIS) is permitted for discharge into Colchester County's sewage system, chemical levels will be within safe guidelines set out by the municipality, a company official says.
"We would treat the Kennetcook frack waters in the same manner that we treat all of our other industrial wastewaters with all the treatment infrastructure that we have at our Debert facility," general manager Andre Lachevrotiere told council Thursday night.
"We have millions of dollars of infrastructure and, as I said, we're one of Canada's most advanced water treatment facilities. We treat these wastewaters in the same manner that we treat all other wastewaters to be sure that when we release them into a municipal sewer, that they are below all of the elements that we have listed in the policy that deems it acceptable for discharge."
Lachevrotiere appeared before council to express a willingness to work within municipal discharge regulations and to dispel misinformation that he said has been stated about his company.
The company has applied to the municipality to discharge 4.5 million litres of fracking wastewater from Kennetcook that is stored in the company's holding ponds.
Controversy has swirled about the application, however, because the wastewater contains naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs).
"NORMs are all around us," Lachevrotiere said.
And while there has also been "misinformation" exchanged about the company also planning to discharge nuclear waste (which is totally different than NORMs), Lachevrotiere said AIS never has never and and will never will be involved with such practice.
"Nuclear wastes are not a waste we deal with as part of our business.
Regarding all industrial wastes that come to the facility,
Lachevrotiere said all materials are tested by an independent third party and every truck that arrives there is parked and its contents are tested and analyzed before they are accepted. Further, he said, no materials are brought into AIS that it is not equipped to treat.
In addressing speculation within the Debert community that some of the materials held in the company's holding ponds are released into the environment, Lachevrotiere said that is also not true.
"The liquids observed to be going into the ditch (beside Plains Road) is only the storm water from our property," he said, and have nothing to do with industrial operations.
Storm water runoff at the facility is also held in a storage pond until it can be determined it does not contain anything harmful to the environment.
"I am proud of everything our company does," he said.
Some councillors, including Bill Masters, appeared to take some solace in Lachevrotiere's information.
"What you are telling me gives me a lot more confidence then I had before this presentation," he said.