Independent review panel report of Hydraulic fracturing in BC released

Hydraulic fracturing in BC is robust though there are some areas where it needs improvement.

The three member scientific panel put forward 97 recommendations with focus on how to address knowledge gaps and the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The BC Government has implemented a number of changes in the last 18 months, including those recommended by the scientific review panel to strengthen the oil and gas industry regulatory framework, which includes:

Scientific Review of Hydraulic Fracturing in British Columbia

"The BC Oil and Gas Commission has created a new process to make sure commission-regulated oil and gas dams in B.C. are operating with appropriate permits.

  • The commission has put in place new procedures to ensure all dams and water storage structures used in oil and gas development are properly licensed and safe for use.

  • In May 2018, government took action to address the growing number of inactive and orphaned well sites by passing Bill 15, amendments to the Oil and Gas Activities Act.

  • Longer term, the BC Oil and Gas Commission is working closely with Indigenous communities within Treaty 8 in developing culturally appropriate restoration practices. A pilot project is underway with Fort Nelson First Nations and there are discussions underway with Saulteau and Doig River.

  • The commission is also working with local First Nations within Treaty 8 on the installation of additional hydrometric stations that will assist in improving the Northeast water tool — a geographic-information-system-based hydrology tool used as part of the water-use decision process.

  • The commission and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources have consultation agreements with most Treaty 8 First Nations. Capacity funding is provided to First Nations to support them in their review of oil and gas activity applications."

The BC Government will be releasing a short term action plan in May 2019, and then a long term action plan in December 2019.

Click here to view the full report.

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