New Brunswick Based Reports
Research to Understand Surface Water Conditions in Areas Overlying Shale Gas Resources in Southwest New Brunswick
The New Brunswick Energy Institute (NBEI) sought research to support a better understanding of the surface water monitoring relevant to shale gas development in New Brunswick and asked for an evaluation of appropriate methods to assess environmental conditions of streams and for establishing baseline conditions in targeted extraction regions. The Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), in partnership with the Université de Moncton (UdeM), designed and conducted a two-year research program that focused on the baseline characterization of the chemical, physical, and biological conditions in surface waters pre-development and that supports the ability of provincial and federal regulators to assess and detect changes of concern during or post-development.
A Baseline Assessment of Domestic Well Water Quality in Areas of Potential Shale Gas Development in New Brunswick: Final Report
A Baseline Assessment of Domestic Well Water Quality in Potential Shale Gas Regions of New Brunswick: 2015 Interim Progress Report
Environmental Flows Guidelines for Resource Development in New Brunswick
It is generally acknowledged that maintaining a natural or near natural flow regime is a key aspect for the protection of healthy, flowing water ecosystems, especially for managed streams and rivers (e.g., Arthington et al., 2006). Flow acts as a master variable by exerting influences on the condition of most environmental characteristics in rivers and streams such as water quality, energy patterns, physical habitat and biotic interactions (e.g., Poff et al 1997). Understanding this concept and incorporating it into the regulatory framework has become a priority for monitoring and conservation programs worldwide, particularly in the context of resource development and land use change.
New Brunswick Shale Gas Air Monitoring Study – Interim Report
In the fall of 2012, a Memorandum of Agreement for Services between Health Canada and the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government was established to conduct an air monitoring study around shale gas activities in the province of New Brunswick. This first interim report presents the monitoring activities conducted between October 2012 and April 2013 as part of the New Brunswick Shale Gas Air Monitoring Study.
Rules for Industry
These rules have been released in order to support New Brunswick’s on-going management of oil and gas activities and to ensure that the Province continues to have the tools needed to guide oil and gas exploration and extraction in an environmentally responsible manner. They are based on recommendations contained in Responsible Environmental Management of Oil and Gas Activities in New Brunswick - Recommendations for Public Discussion which was released for public comment on May 17, 2012. The rules incorporate input received during the subsequent 4 month public review period.
While large-scale development of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick may offer an economic growth opportunity for the province, it will be important to ensure that the overall health gains are greater than the losses. Economic status of individuals and communities can be an important determinant of their health, however there are many other factors resulting from industry development that can have strong negative impacts. Unless proper controls are put in place there is a risk of spoiling any benefits from economic gains through adverse health outcomes.
Council of Canadian Academies Report
Shale gas is natural gas that is tightly locked within low permeability sedimentary rock. Recent technological advances are making shale gas reserves increasingly accessible and their recovery more economically feasible. This resource is already being exploited in British Columbia and Alberta, and substantial recoverable reserves may exist in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and elsewhere in Canada. Shale gas is being produced in large volumes in the
United States, and will likely be developed in coming years on every continent except Antarctica. Depending on factors such as future natural gas prices and government regulations, further development of Canadian shale gas resources could potentially span many decades and involve the drilling of tens of thousands of hydraulically fractured horizontal wells.