B.C. Supreme Court verdict of fracking from Oil and Gas Commission

The Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit last year against the Fort St. John based Oil and Gas Commission, and Calgary based Encana Corporation

The groups sought a court declaration that short-term water approvals by the B.C. Commission violated the Provincial Water Act.

However, a court ruling posted this week says there is no prohibition under provincial rules to granting repeat short-term approvals for surface water use.

This ruling follows one in Alberta, in which a woman lost her appeal to sue that province’s energy regulator, Encana, and the Alberta government.

Jessica Ernst launched the $33 million lawsuit arguing gas well hydraulic fracturing around her land, northeast of Calgary, unleashed hazardous amounts of methane and ethane gas, and other chemicals into her water well.

Last fall an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled she can’t sue the energy regulator because it is immune from private legal claims, and last month the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld that ruling.

However, Jessica plans to now seek leave in an effort to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In its statement of defence, Encana has denied all of her allegations.

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