Fracking Companies’ Trade Secrets Should Not Trump Public Interest

September 3, 2013
Media Release

The NWT Chapter of the Council of Canadians has called on the NWT Minister of Environment and Natural Resources to carry out an investigation under the Environmental Rights Act on the use of undisclosed chemicals in fracking operations in the NWT.

In an August 29th letter to the Minister the Council has called for the GNWT to require that the name and quantity of all chemicals used in ConocoPhilips’ five-year hydraulic fracturing program be publicly disclosed.

“The public interest in clean water and an uncontaminated environment should not be compromised by the asserted proprietary interests of ConocoPhilips, the company recently licenced to conduct hydraulic fracturing in the Sahtu,” says the NWT Council of Canadians Chapter’s co-chair, Peter Redvers.

Last June the Sahtu Land and Water Board (SLWB) granted a land use permit and a water licence to ConocoPhillips for exploratory fracking wells near Tulita without requiring a full environmental assessment.

The Chapter’s letter to the NWT Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources states: “The chemicals used to make fracking fluids are far from safe. Scientists have found that 25 percent of fracking chemicals could cause cancer; 37 percent could disrupt the endocrine system; 40 to 50 percent could affect the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems; and more than 75 percent could impair sensory organs and the respiratory system.” These chemicals are also “associated with low birth weight, birth defects, respiratory problems, cancer, and fertility problems.”

Under the Environmental Rights Act “every person resident in the Territories has the right to protect the environment and the public trust.” By keeping certain chemicals secret, ConocoPhilips is violating these rights.


For more information contact: Peter Redvers at or 445-4106


Posted on September 4, 2013, in Democracy, Fracking, Healthcare, In the Media, NWT Chapter Updates, Uncategorized, Water and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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