On Thursday, December 18, the Minister of Natural Resources of
New Brunswick, Hon. Donald Arseneault, introduced Bill 9, An Act to Amend the Oil
and Natural Gas Act (the Bill) to the Legislative Assembly of
New Brunswick. The Bill will create a moratorium on all forms of
hydraulic fracking in the province of New Brunswick, regardless of
whether the process uses water, propane or another substance to
extract natural gas from shale rock beneath the earth's
surface. The Bill will also put an end to any fracking projects
currently underway in the Province, as no
"grandfathering" in of projects will be permitted outside
of the moratorium.
The Bill was announced earlier in the day by Premier Brian
Gallant, who stated that the purpose of the bill was to stop
fracking practices until the effect of such practices on the
environment, health and water were better understood. The
moratorium will continue in place, according to Premier Gallant,
until five conditions have been met. Particularly, the moratorium
will not be lifted until:
a "social licence" for hydraulic fracking is
established through consultations between fracking corporations and
clear and credible information on the impacts on air, health
and water are produced so that a regulatory regime can be
a plan is established to mitigate impacts on public
infrastructure and to address issues such as waste water disposal;
a process is in place to fulfill the Province's obligation to
consult with First Nations; and
a "proper royalty structure" is developed to ensure
that the benefits of fracking are maximized for residents of the
There are currently several companies exploring for shale gas in
New Brunswick. According to Premier Gallant, these activities will
be permitted to continue under the moratorium, provided that no
fracking activity on test wells is undertaken.
New Brunswick is the fourth province to create a moratorium on
fracking, along with Nova Scotia, Quebec and Newfoundland and
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