Second report shows that BC natural gas extraction is done safely, but regulations should continue to evolve
An independent review of hydraulic fracturing in British Columbia showed there is a "robust" regulatory framework governing fracking – but it also offers some firm guidelines on how to ensure that practices continue to evolve.
Ernst & Young carried out the report, which is the second recent impartial review to find B.C.’s regulatory framework is well designed.
This report did not report any gaps in BC's regulations - but it did identify areas to strengthen the approach already in place.
The consultants offered three "high-level" recommendations for future evolution of the regulatory regime that lies at the heart of British Columbia's ability to get its natural gas to overseas markets in the form of LNG:
- Enhanced data collection and analysis capability.
- Ensure that the Water Act and the upcoming Water Sustainability Act adequately cover water usage and offer increased protection for water use and protect ground and surface water from contamination.
- Update or modify regulations covering induced seismicity and flowback water containment.
The provincial government said it would accept the recommendations, including the strengthening of permit provisions. The government said many of the report’s recommendations overlap recommendations of the human health-risk assessment process and are already being addressed.