The Nova Scotia Department of Energy said Wednesday that the Canadian province’s government will implement a ban on high volume onshore fracking this fall.
Energy Minister Andrew Younger said the ban would not be permanent but did not specify how long it will last.
Younger told CBC News that the law was prompted by the public’s “overwhelmingly expressed concern” about the impact of fracking.
The law comes on the heels of a study done by an independent panel that recommended the ban until more research is done on the impact of fracking and government agencies find a way to include communities in land use decisions for fracking projects.
Finance Minister Joe Oliver said that ban does not accurately reflect the strong safety record of shale developers in Nova Scotia.
“There’ve been 175,000 wells drilled using fracking and not a single case of drinkable water contamination,” Oliver said.
The independent report also estimated that a small to medium sized fracking effort where 4,000 wells are drilled over 40 years would bring in $1 billion in annual investments and directly create between 750 and 1,500 jobs.
Younger said that despite the fracking ban Nova Scotia will still court offshore developers and support the coal-bed methane project in Stellarton.
The U.S. Energy Information Association estimates that Nova Scotia has in place shale gas reserves of 17 trillion cubic feet and recoverable reserves of 3.4 trillion cubic feet.