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Local residents take concerns to Alton Gas office


STEWIACKE – Area residents opposed to the Alton natural gas project took their concerns to the company’s office on Tuesday morning.

Residents who took questions to the Alton Gas office in Stewiacke found it closed but they stayed on site with signs for about three hours on Tuesday.

A group of 15 people showed up at Alton Gas at Mastodon Ridge with a list of questions for the company.

And while the office was closed, demonstrators used the opportunity to pass along information on the project to others.

“The offices are closed but we stayed to talk with anyone who is interested,” said Paul MacMillan, a local resident who has been fighting the project since 2014. “It’s good to talk one on one and let people know more about what’s going on.

“This is something we should all be concerned about. It’s not just a First Nations issue; it’s everyone’s issue. We stand in unity.”

Some people stood with signs on the upper-level railing of the Mastodon Ridge building, while those on ground level handed out flyers.

“I got involved initially because oil and gas companies leave big environmental messes and I was concerned,” said MacMillan.

“We’re getting a positive reaction from most people today. A lot of people hadn’t heard much about this.”

One show of support came when a Tim Horton’s customer left extra money in the restaurant to pay for drinks for protesters.

MacMillan feels that there is something seriously wrong with Nova Scotia’s environmental assessment process.

Annabelle Thiebaux, another local resident, was also out with a sign.

“I got involved because I care about the planet and about this area,” she said. “This is something everyone should care about.”

Alton Gas, a subsidiary of Calgary-based AltaGas, wants to store natural gas in salt caverns along the Shubenacadie River’s estuary. The company plans to use river water to flush salt from the caverns. This water would eventually be released back into the river.

People speaking out against the project are concerned about the health of the river, fish and the groundwater, as well as effects on climate.

lynn.curwin@tc.tc

 

 

 

 

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