MEDIA ADVISORY - Announcement of Multi-Million Dollar Landmark North American Lawsuit on Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Impact on Groundwater

Suit Accuses EnCana, Alberta Environment and Energy Resources Conservation Board of Negligence and Unlawful Activities

Case To Be Presented at United Nations in New York

CALGARY, April 26 /CNW/ -

PRESS CONFERENCE:

WHEN:     Wednesday April 27th
    11:00 AM
 
WHERE:    Lounge, Kensington Riverside Inn,
    1126 Memorial Dr. NW
    Calgary, AB

1.) Nearly a decade ago, EnCana, one of the world's largest natural gas producers, began a risky and experimental drilling program that required intense hydraulic fracturing for shallow coalbed methane (Horseshoe Canyon Formation) throughout central Alberta.

2.) Hydraulic fracturing blasts open oil, gas and coal formations with highly pressurized volumes of water, sand and undisclosed chemical fluids or gases. The technology has boosted natural gas reserves but has become the subject of serious government investigations throughout North America due to surface and groundwater contamination.

3.) Alberta's primary energy regulator, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), recently disclosed that the potential for hydraulic fracturing to contaminate useable water aquifers with fracturing fluid chemicals and natural gas is a real public issue, especially in shallow zones.

4.) On Wednesday morning, lawyers representing Jessica Ernst, a 54-year-old oil patch consultant, will release a 73-page statement of claim that alleges that EnCana broke multiple provincial laws and regulations and contaminated a shallow aquifer used by a rural community with natural gas and toxic industry-related chemicals.

5.) The claim methodically reports how Alberta's two key groundwater regulators, Alberta Environment and the ERCB, "failed to follow the investigation and enforcement processes that they had established and publicized."

6.) The ERCB recently gave EnCana permission to drill and fracture more CBM wells above the base of groundwater protection near the affected water wells mentioned in this claim.

7.) The United Nations invited Jessica Ernst to present her story and make recommendations to governments at the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in New York next week.

8.) The claim represents assertions that have not yet been proven in court.  All defendants will have the opportunity to respond in these proceedings.

Website: www.ernstversusencana.ca will go live at 10:00AM MTS on Wednesday.

BACKGROUND:

US Congress: Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing

University of Toronto and Munk School of Global Affairs Program On Water Issues:

Fracture Lines: Will Canada's water be protected in the rush to develop shale gas?

ERCB: Unconventional Gas Regulatory Framework

National Energy Board: Overview and Economics of Horseshoe Canyon Coalbed Methane Development

 

 

 

For further information:

Jessica Ernst
Email:  ernstj@telusplanet.net
Phone (excluding April 30 - May 7):  1-403-677-2074
From May 1 - 6:
LEO HOUSE. 332 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 366-0100

Murray Klippenstein (Legal Counsel)
Email: murray.klippenstein@klippensteins.ca
Phone: 1-416-937-8634 (Cell); 1-416-598-0288 (Office)

Cory Wanless (Legal Counsel)
Email: cory.wanless@klippensteins.ca
Phone: 1-647-886-1914 (Cell); 1-416-598-0288 (Office)