Dr. Chalaturnyk weighs in on fracking

On May 1st, 2014, the Council of Canadian Academies (the Council) released a much-anticipated report commissioned by former Energy Minister Peter Kent to address increasing concerns regarding the matter of public safety in regards to unconventional resource recovery, particularly groundwater contamination and wastewater safety. 

The Council is an arm's-length not-for-profit organization that supports independent, authoritative, and evidence-based expert assessments that inform public policy development in Canada.   The report was commissioned to answer this question: 

What is the state of knowledge of potential environmental impacts from the exploration, extraction and development of Canada’s shale gas resources, and what is the state of knowledge of associated mitigation options?
Now that most of the dust has settled after the media storm following the release of the report, the real work of designing a framework that addresses the continued demand for oil and gas while adequately addressing public health and safety concerns begins.  

The interdisciplinary expert panel, which included Prof. Rick Chalaturnyk from Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta, largely agreed that continued research and systemic monitoring is at the heart of responsible management of shale gas extraction and its impact on the environment.  Prof. Chalaturnyk said in an early interview with CBC, "additional information needs to be collected to better understand and manage those impacts." 

You can read the full report here.