New Brunswick energy minister Donald Arseneaul. Image courtesy of The Department of Energy and Mines.

Legislators in New Brunswick, Canada voted Thursday to implement a one year fracking moratorium as the province conducts further studies into hydraulic fracturing.

The ban will be up for reconsideration in 2016.

“It is responsible and prudent to do our due diligence and get more information regarding hydraulic fracturing,” New Brunswick Department of Energy and Mines minister Donald Arseneault said.

The province has appointed a three member committee to study a variety of issues tied to drilling including public health and safety, royalty payments, infrastructure use issues and environmental impact.

The committee will report its findings within a year, the Department of Energy and Mines said.

The department has placed five conditions that must be met before the ban can be lifted.

The conditions include “clear and credible” information about the public health, water and environmental impact of fracking, addressing waste water disposal concerns, consulting with First Nations groups before starting projects, developing a royalty structure and making sure that a “social license” is in place.

“For anyone anticipating a domestic supply from New Brunswick, yeah, this is a major problem,” New Brunswick-based energy consultant Michael Edwards told Reuters.

In December 2014, the provincial government introduced amendments to the Oil and Gas Act that placed a moratorium on all types of hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick.

The government of New Brunswick estimates that the province’s Frederick Brook shale formation holds about 80 trillion cubic feet of gas.




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