rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Report launch: Fracking in Nova Scotia -- the real story

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

This past Monday evening (on Mother Earth Day), NOFRAC launched the report, Out of Control: Nova Scotia's experience with fracking for shale gas, in the community it happened back in 2007-2008. Kennetcook, N.S. still has tailings ponds full of fracking waste, and many community members didn't know the details of what had happened or even where the toxic waste ponds are.

To read the report, report summary and supporting documentation, click here.

To read the Chronicle Herald on the report and launch, click here.

Through research and documents received through a Freedom of Information request to the N.S. government, the report uncovered a series of problems, including:

- Wastewater ponds built and filled without appropriate permits.
- A leaking wastewater pond but no soil testing done.
- A company determined to dispose of millions of litres of fracking wastewater underground, despite provincial refusals.
- Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) allowed discharge of 7 million litres of untreated fracking wastewater into the Windsor sewage treatment system, although an internal NSE document states that fracking wastewater (formation water) is typically too contaminated to be released into the environment without treatment.
- NSE gave approvals for disposal of fracking wastewater before they had information about the full range of contaminants in the wastewater, including radioactive elements.

Several concluding lessons learned are also outlined in the report and report summary, but include that the regulators are clearly behind industry in terms of an understanding of the industry and concerns with it, and health and environments effects may only appear over time.

The Council of Canadians has been involved with NOFRAC since its inception, and Matt Ramsden, Communications team member from our national office, did the layout for the report and supporting documents. The Atlantic office was on the sub-committee for this report, and the number of hours the other amazing sub-committee members put into the report needs to be recognized. Great job everyone!

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.