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The five-day trip, which will begin Friday, Feb.10, will include visits to Vancouver, Victoria, Fort St. John and Calgary, to observe the controversial extraction method of fracking at various well sites.

Organizing the trip is Andrew Newman, Chief Executive of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, who said he decided last month to send a compliance manager.

Newman talks about the importance of taking these trips north of the border.

“The reality is we haven’t had to deal with these types of consenting issues previously, so the more we can inform ourselves from a regulatory perspective and quickly, the better. The process may or may not take a number of years, so upskilling staff in this organization was pretty critical.”

The trip will develop knowledge and contacts in an area the Hawke’s Bay Council is not familiar with. Those in attendance will explore community perceptions, First Nation involvement, drilling processes, water takes and discharge, fracking fluids and the process involved, risk management and the environmental effects.

The five day excursion will also include meetings with environmentalists, First Nations Organizations, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, Energy Resources Conservation Board, the National Energy Board and the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

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