Fracking water safety ‘pure nonsense’

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Recently, in a large number of newspaper stories, radio broadcasts, television reports   and interviews,...

it has been unequivocally stated that the Department of the Environment (DOE) has determined that  the  radioactive fracking wastewaters, held in Kennetcook and  treated at Atlantic Industrial Services in Debert, are now unquestionably safe for disposal into the environment.  

Moreover, a favoured disposal location is directly into Cobequid Bay.

The department held a public information session, on Thursday, Jan. 30, and subsequent to this meeting, posted a series of chemical and radionuclide values online, which DOE declares to be indicative of this treated radioactive wastewater safety.

This assertion of wastewater safety is pure nonsense and not supported by their documented lab presentations.

 Health Canada regulations clearly require, in their NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) guidelines, the determination of total radiation counts on wastewaters. This determination is to be done using the very essential, and cheaply obtained gross alpha and beta radiation counts. The department has not provided, at any time, for public assessment, documentation of the total radiation counts of the treated and untreated wastewaters. What the department is putting forth as safe environmental radiation discharge, is in no way supported by their incomplete and inadequate radiation determinations.

Gross alpha and beta counts on these wastewaters have been sought after, for more than two years, by the public through requests to Colchester County Council engineers, repeated requests to the Truro Department of the Environment, multiple pleadings with the Department of the Environment engineer in New Glasgow and, most recently, at public information meetings and submissions to the environment minister, through direct petition.

The omission of this basic radiation count determination leaves this citizen of the area wondering, once again, just what the level of competence, education and knowledge    held by department staff is. This omission further raises the very pertinent question of what they are trying, once again, to hide from the public.

Not determining and releasing publicly a comprehensive series of gross alpha and beta counts is the same as, metaphorically speaking, elections Canada trying to verify election results without any knowledge of the total number of citizens voting.

Shame on the department for this legerdemain.We should, after two very long years, be grabbing our pitchforks and storming the local environmental Bastille.


James A. Doane   

Little Dyke, Glenholme 

Organizations: DOE, Atlantic Industrial Services, Health Canada Colchester County Council Truro Department of

Geographic location: Kennetcook, Debert, Cobequid Bay New Glasgow Canada

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