FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, [September 1, 2016]
[KJI’PUKTUK/ HALIFAX] – Ecology Action Centre (EAC) stands in solidarity with Sipekne’katik, Millbrook, local Mi’kmaq community members, fishers, and members of the Alton and Brentwood communities who are standing up for all Nova Scotians in their opposition to the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project.
Alberta-based AltaGas is proposing to drill between four and 18 unconventional salt caverns about one kilometre underground to store natural gas in the Stewiacke area. Creating these caverns produces a staggering amount of brine wastewater, which AltaGas plans to dump into the Shubenacadie estuary. At full operation, the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project will release approximately 10,000m3 of brine waste into the river system every day.
AltaGas’s Alton Gas project poses serious risks to the Shubenacadie River ecosystem and to those living nearby. As President of the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association and Sipekne’katik Council member Cheryl Maloney describes, “Both Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples are concerned about the damage done by the Harper Government in removing all protections for Canada’s rivers and lakes. We are further concerned that the current Liberal government has not yet acted to undo the damage. As long as our water sources continue to be threatened, ordinary Canadians will be forced to take action and demand change.”
The Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous communities facing the brunt of the direct environmental impacts of the Alton Gas Project have not been adequately engaged or represented by our government. Instead they have had their concerns repeatedly ignored, even as they are expected to bear the brunt of the risks. Cavern site neighbours were not properly notified of the project’s location or status and did not learn about this until years after the environmental impact assessment was completed and approved by Nova Scotia Environment.
Ecology Action Centre is Nova Scotia’s largest environmental organization and advocates for a sustainable future that provides jobs here in Nova Scotia, and aligns with our cultural history and values. EAC invites more people and organizations to stand with those who are fighting for the health of the Shubenacadie river, for Indigenous rights, and for all Nova Scotians who want to have a say in creating a better future where we live.
The full statement can be found here: https://www.ecologyaction.ca/altongassolidarity
* For further information, please contact:
Concerned Brentwood resident
Sipekne’katik Council member
EAC Community Conservation Research Coordinator and Alton Gas Working Group member