Hydraulic Fracturing: Environmental, Health and Legal Issues
Everyone is welcome to attend this CIVE 615 Environmental Engineering Seminar (part of the Environmental & Water resource engineering seminar series) given by: Prof. Tom Gleeson, Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Mark Goldberg, Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Richard Janda, Faculty of Law - McGill University
In recent years, natural gas extracted from shale formations has become an increasingly important energy resource throughout North America. As demand for natural gas continues to rise, the continent has experienced an unprecedented expansion in the resource’s extraction and development, in particularly through the use of hydraulic fracturing. This increase in development activities has given rise to the potential for greater adverse environmental and human health impacts. Only recently have comprehensive studies evaluating the potential environmental and health effects of extraction techniques, including hydraulic fracturing, been published. The three researchers from three Faculties at McGill University will present essential environmental, health and legal issues related to hydraulic fracking. The researchers believe that there is compelling evidence that natural gas development could pose significant threats to the environment and to human health. Health and legal arguments suggest that moratoriums on natural gas development are necessary in Quebec until such time it can be determined that the activity will not present significant risks to human health, ecosystems, and the surrounding environment.
Tom Gleeson is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. He is an environmental and geotechnical engineer interested in groundwater sustainability, regional- to continental-scale groundwater systems, groundwater-surface water interactions and fluid flow around geologic structures. His talk will be based on his recent publication: “Hydraulic fracturing in faulted sedimentary basins: Numerical simulation of potential long-term contamination of shallow aquifers”, Water Resources Research 2013, 49: 1-18.
Mark Goldberg is a professor in the Department of Medicine and associate member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Occupational Health, Department of Oncology, and the McGill School of Environment. He is an occupational and environmental epidemiologist. His talk will be based on his recent work: “Natural Gas Development: Extracting Externalities – Towards Precaution-Based Decision Making”, McGill Sustainable Journal of Development, Law and Policy 2013; 8(2):153-203
Richard Janda is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law, teaching business associations, administrative law, competition law, economic regulation, and air transport regulation. He was Law Clerk to Justices Le Dain and Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada and is a past Director of the Centre for the Study of Regulated Industries at McGill. His main current research areas are the legal basis of domestic and global corporate social responsibility and the regulatory regimes governing domestic and global public goods.