B.C. environmental groups in court to argue against water use for fracking | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. environmental groups in court to argue against water use for fracking

March 16, 2014 - 5:55 PM

VANCOUVER - A coalition of environmental groups will be in a Vancouver court Monday arguing against the use of river and lake water for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.

The Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club of B.C. have filed court action against B.C.'s Oil and Gas Commission and energy company Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA).

The coalition alleges the commission has allowed millions of litres of fresh water annually to be drained from lakes, streams and rivers, where it's then mixed with chemicals and sand and injected under high pressure into the ground to release natural gas.

The coalition claims the practice is a violation of the Water Act and is petitioning the court to rescind several short-term approvals issued by the commission to Encana.

Morgan Blakley, who represents the coalition, says his clients believe repeatedly granting short-term water withdrawal permits to the same company for the same reason is illegal.

The Water Act allows the gas commission to grant water withdrawal permits for up to 24 months at a time without issuing a licence.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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