Northern Cross has submitted an application to Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board in Dawson City to drill 20 wells over the next two years in the Eagle Plains area.
There are many problems with this application in that there are almost no long-term studies that have been conducted in this area. Without long-term studies it is invariable that long-term environmental consequences will happen.
Please remember that a Chinese oil and gas company owns Northern Cross.
Trans-boundary agreements about shared land and water resources between the Yukon and the N.W.T. have not been considered and consultation with the Tetlit Gwichin people is needed.
Some concerns are:
1. Long-term baseline data on water quality, wildlife, vegetation and permafrost is not available and what is available is outdated and not consistent. The water board’s oil and gas regulations require two years of surface- and ground-water sampling. This has not happened in all the years of NC’s presence in the area.
2. Northern Cross is proposing a sump for drill waste beside the Dempster highway south of Eagle Plains. The company has only provided vague information about the storage of 276 barrels of wastewater per day, which may be part of the drill waste. Will this material be transported to re-injection wells? If not, what are the long-term impacts on the soil and/or permafrost in the area?
3. When drilling the water that they encounter with radioactive elements, will they be transporting this sludge to Ft. Nelson and the U.S. if it contains Radium 226 for testing? According to the Alberta Energy Regulator testing for Ra 226 is required, but the data is not available. Uranium has been found elevated in the two of the five existing samples of underground water. Yukon regulation for storage of radioactive waste does not exist, only federal legislation, which does not allow storage in unlined sump facilities.
4. Has Northern Cross consulted with the Tetlit Gwitchin and the Gwichin Tribal Council?
5. What will be the impact of the 80 km of services roads and many kilometres of seismic lines on the caribou and other wildlife in the area?
6. Suggestion has been made that Northern Cross will follow the regulations used by the Alberta Energy Regulator. What applications do Alberta regulations have on northern Yukon that has much different environmental conditions like permafrost, frozen water for at least six months of the year, wintering grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd, etc.?
These are but a few concerns that have not been addressed by Northern Cross in their project application.
You can email assessors at firstname.lastname@example.org to file your concerns and mention some or all the issues listed above. Feel free to add your own thoughts on your concerns about this application. Recommend that the executive committee of YESAB make the final recommendation.
Deadline for comments is Nov. 27.
Yukoners Concerned about
Oil and Gas Exploration/ Development