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Alberta court protects regulator from Ernst’s fracking lawsuit

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Posted October 9, 2013 by Canadian Press in Energy and Resources
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Water Contamination from Fracking- Jessica Ernst Releases Groundbreaking Report

Environmental consultant Jessica Ernst on her land in Alberta (Colin Smith photo)

ROSEBUD, Alta. – An Alberta woman has lost a round in her legal battle against the contentious process of hydraulic fracturing.

Jessica Ernst launched a $33-million lawsuit against the Alberta government, the province’s energy regulator and energy company Encana (TSX:ECA).

She claims gas wells fracked around her property in southern Alberta unleashed hazardous amounts of methane and ethane gas and other chemicals into her water well.

An Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench judge has ruled Ernst can’t sue the regulator because under provincial law it is immune from private legal claims.

Ernst says she plans to appeal the ruling, and says the lawsuit against Encana and the provincial government will proceed.

In its statement of defence, Encana denies all of Ernst’s allegations.

“It is worrying that citizens are unable to hold the energy regulator accountable for failing to protect citizens from the harmful impacts of fracking,” Cory Wanless, a lawyer for Ersnt said in a release Wednesday.

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, nitrogen, sand and chemicals at high pressure to fracture rock and allow natural gas or oil to flow through wells to the surface.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Neil Wittmann dismissed an application by the Alberta government to remove some other parts of Ernst’s lawsuit that involve the province.

Wanless says the Alberta government has not filed a statement of defence in the case.

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4 Comments


  1.  
    madelyn marshall

    Wow!!! can’t believe whats going on in this world….now its so close to home.Harper really needs to go …no more power mongering…Imagine how our so called Democratic system & laws have been contorted by mans greed. If all the money made through oil only benefits us why are the pensioners living on so little,taxes so high,disability programs ceased etc.etc. etc.We are filthy rich in oil & its all going to others at the high cost of our environment & next Generation. We contend with crooks in parliament who are unaccountable for their actions,we the people would be jailed instantly for these same actions! This poor family was not given a chance to share their claim in court ……Dictatorship or Democracy which do you choose!





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