“Fracking poses risks, environmentalists say”

Kyle Rea in Metro London

Environmental group Climate Justice London plans protest for London City Hall at 6 p.m. today

It’s a controversial natural gas extraction technique that environmentalists say threatens our ecosystem.

And while it hasn’t been used yet in Ontario, a group of concerned Londoners are worried hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could soon be used in Chatham-Kent and Lambton counties.

Today, more than 40 people are expected to gather at London City Hall as part of a protest against fracking.

Protest co-organizer Toban Black says the goal is to educate politicians — and the public — about an increasingly popular drilling method that could cause environmental harm.

Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals under high pressure to break up shale rock formations underground and force up natural gas. Sometimes millions of litres of water are used.

But does this process pose a risk to the environment?

Black certainly thinks so, adding there hasn’t been enough research into this area, nor are regulations in place to do something about it.

“There’s no system of responsibility,” he said. “The companies deny that there are any impacts from the chemicals they use to break the shale out of the rock or any substances they dislodge in the process, including possibly radioactive substances, because there are substances in the shale rock with the natural gas.”

Black added if these chemicals got into major bodies of water like Lake Huron or Lake Erie, it could pose a threat to our drinking water.

“Our water filtration systems are not set up to deal with it.”

In particular, he’s concerned about the purchase of 20,000 acres of land in Lambton and Chatham-Kent by Mooncor Energy of Alberta. There’s no word on whether fracking will be used in this project.

Quote
“I really think with any pollution threats, people should adopt the precaution principle, where you assume there could be harm unless proven otherwise. That’s not the approach they (gas companies) take.” – Toban Black, co-organizer of fracking protest

Stop fracking
For more information, visit stopfrackingontario.wordpress.com or Facebook search for Stop Fracking Ontario

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