Report Recommendations and Response
|B.C. should adopt the Natural Resources Defense Council recommendations for fracking wastewater disposal wells. B.C. disposal wells should be required to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for Class I hazardous waste wells.|
|Summary of Best Practices Rules: B.C. should require operators to reduce, reuse, and recycle wastewater; minimize their use of chemical additives; create “project-specific water-management plans”; and refrain from using water sources that are already experiencing stress.|
|Summary of Best Practices Rules: B.C. should conduct a strategic environmental assessment to assess the cumulative impacts of fracking and disposal well activities in northeastern B.C.|
B.C. must consider the cumulative impacts of fracking and injection activity to ensure improperly sited wells do not cause earthquakes, and to reduce the chances of a changing underground environment opening up new pathways for wastewater to make its way to the surface. See the Environmental Law Centre’s report on the need for a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the proposed new Liquefied Natural Gas industry at www.elc.uvic.ca.
|Summary of Best Practices Rules: B.C. should require operators to carry out a site-specific risk assessment that examines underground and surface in a sufficient radius around the well, taking into account an appropriate timeframe. Operators should be required to submit this information as part of the permitting application. If there is a chance the well will allow fluids to migrate to the surface or induce seismicity, permitting authorities should be required to refuse the permit.|
|Summary of Best Practices Rules: B.C. should require operators to ensure best practice in well design and construction, systematically verify the integrity of the well and quality of the seal, and have this integrity testing evaluated by an independent, qualified third party.|
|Summary of Best Practices Rules: B.C. should require comprehensive baseline testing of surface and|
groundwater, soil, and seismic activity near the well prior to operation; this monitoring should continue to take place throughout the life of the well.
|Summary of Best Practices Rules: B.C. should ensure a robust monitoring and compliance regime exists, along with adequate emergency response plans. An appropriate way for B.C. to ensure robust monitoring and compliance efforts for disposal wells would be to give affected First Nations and other affected communities adequate resources to hire staff to conduct baseline testing; provide monitoring and compliance services throughout the lifetime of the well to ensure wastewater does not adversely impact the environment or public health; and develop, in conjunction with industry, adequate emergency response plans and procedures that give First Nations and other affected communities adequate notice of spills and leaks.|