This article discusses new fracking restrictions imposed in Alberta, as a result of earthquakes near a dam. Restrictions come as industry-related tremors have rattled nerves and raised concerns.
In a significant development, the Alberta Energy Regulator has acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing operations can impose high risks to critical infrastructure such as dams, an issue of growing concern at British Columbia’s Site C mega-project on the Peace River.
The regulator’s new regulations follow a wave of tremors set off by Canada’s oil and gas industry, as well as the release of major scientific papers documenting how fracking and other forms of fluid injection have caused devastating earthquakes.
Such industry-triggered events, some as great as magnitude 5.7, have destroyed homes, caused landslides, and left taxpayers with millions of dollars of damage in Oklahoma, Korea and in China, where citizens have been killed.
Last week, the industry-funded regulator issued an order restricting fracking activity near TransAlta’s Brazeau Dam located 55 kilometres southwest of the densely drilled Drayton Valley following a magnitude 4.3 earthquake in the region last March.