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n a brilliant initiative that I wish was implemented sooner, New Brunswick is going to investigate water quality in locations where hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations to extract oil and natural gas from shale are likely to happen – before they happen.  The study, to be conducted by the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI), will examine surface water quality in locations with high potential for shale gas development.  David Besner, Chair of the CRI explains in a press release,

THE GOAL OF THIS PROJECT IS TO UNDERSTAND THE CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS IN SURFACE WATERS BEFORE OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT.  THIS BASELINE INFORMATION WILL IMPROVE OUR ABILITY TO ASSESS POTENTIAL CHANGES TO SURFACE WATER DURING OR AFTER DEVELOPMENT AND IT WILL ADDRESS SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS NEW BRUNSWICKERS HAVE ABOUT SHALE GAS EXPLORATION.

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