Decisions cannot be based on weak information

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To the editor,

I have been involved over the years in a number of environmental issues and all of them seem to come down to one common element; one party wanting to make profit at the expense of another party.

First of all, do not place any comfort in the (fracking water) engineering reports. Those that investigate the safety of the project are usually paid by the proponent. They are not paid to go down every possible avenue to see what the results are so they make a risk-based summation. In other words, there are areas that they have not spent a lot of time on because they believe they have the information needed no matter how weak.

 

I can remember when a particular plant wanted to burn toxic waste and to do so the consultant had to verify wind direction. Rather than setting up a weather monitor, because of the cost, they chose to rely on the airport’s reported wind direction over a certain period of time. This information was used to verify the wind direction at the site they had chosen to burn toxic waste some 60 miles away from the airport.

When it was pointed out to them, after the report was completed, that the wind direction was different only 12 miles away from the proposed site, they did not believe it.

Fortunately, we were able to force them at that point to set up a miniature weather station. Surprise, surprise … the miniature station showed that they were in fact wrong and that their computer model, with the correct information inserted, showed a completely different wind direction than has been previously predicted.

No matter how safe a project is claimed to be, if it has any possibility of something going wrong, the amount of damages increase with the location of the event. If you do fracking in the middle of the Sahara Desert the chance that you will not be able to contain a spill is very low, however, if you do it beside an open lake with an open river to sea, the risk of an uncontained event goes up significantly. In other words, it would be hard to prevent the damaging effects if an accident occurred.

I do believe that we should be able to recover our natural resources to the best of our ability in Nova Scotia. Because of our size and our economic climate, we need as much economic power as we can get.

I don’t believe in a small group of individuals being able to prevent recovery of our natural resources though fear mongering, but I do believe that this province belongs to all of its citizens and its safety for animals, plants, vegetation and our future generations are not for sale regardless of how much short-term profit can be made.

 

I ask that you, who are in a position to approve or disapprove this project, cover off every base, and then to do it if it’s considered safe in a location that does not increase the risk, that you have tried so hard to reduce.

 

Charles Cox

Truro

Geographic location: Sahara Desert, Nova Scotia

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