One troubling aspect of this report from the Auditor General is its limitation in scope. They sought to determine if the province is "providing adequate oversight of upstream oil and gas site contamination risks." (Upstream processes include exploration, well completion and production.) However, in the 48 page report there is no mention of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Water is barely mentioned.
Nevertheless, the AG notes that a range of site contamination can occur and there exists a potential for environmental and human health impacts. The report also identifies the risk of operators not fulfilling their statutory responsibilities, resulting in costs transferred to the public. Regardless of specific details, the Auditor General finds:
- "... oversight of the environmental and financial risks associated with oil and gas site contamination needs improving.
- "Improvements in the regulatory information collected and oversight procedures are needed.
- "Public information provided by the [BC Oil and Gas Commission] on oversight activities is not sufficient to allow the Legislative Assembly and public to understand how effectively oil and gas site contamination risks are being managed."
I asked the Auditor General if a separate examination is underway to review hydraulic fracturing and industrial water use in the northeast but have not yet had reply.
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