Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the time-frame for the review?

A: The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University was commissioned to conduct the independent review and public engagement process starting in September 2013. The review was originally scheduled to end in May 2014 but that time-frame has been extended to July 2014.

Q: How were the panel members selected?

A: On November 13th 2014, following outreach on the most desirable skills to be represented on the Expert Panel, a call for nominations to the expert panel was announced. The skill sets which were deemed essential for representation by one or more panel member were:

  • Hydrogeology
  • Water quality management/wastewater treatment
  • Oil and gas engineering (focus on shale gas engineering)
  • Climate science
  • Environmental management
  • Economics
  • Public health
  • Environmental psychology
  • Community engagement
  • Knowledge of aboriginal wisdom

Over 70 nominations were received for the panel and 9 Expert Panel members were appointed in February 2014. Panel members were selected by Dr. Wheeler based on their CV and experience in one or more of the desired skills required, and following agreement to abide by the panel ‘code of conduct’.

In April 2014, following feedback from stakeholders and subsequent discussion by the Expert Panel, it was agreed that a legal expert, Constance MacIntosh of Dalhousie University, would join the Expert Panel .

Q: Who can register as a stakeholder?

A: Any member of the general public who is interested in being kept informed about the review can register as a stakeholder.

Q: How do I register as a stakeholder?

A: To register as a stakeholder for the Hydraulic Fracturing Review, please e-mail your name, mailing address and preferred email address to hfreview@cbu.ca, note your status as either a Nova Scotia based stakeholder or out-of-province stakeholder and your selection of one of the following categories of stakeholder that you wish to join:

  • Interested Citizen
  • Environmental Group/Civil Society Organization
  • Industry
  • Consultant
  • University/Affiliate
  • Government Departments/Agency
  • Municipality
  • Aboriginal Community
  • Other (please specify)

Q: I have knowledge or information on hydraulic fracturing and/or the review process that I think is important, how do I share that information with the Expert Panel?

A: The deadline for written submissions was April 30th 2014. However, if you find new science, research or information on hydraulic fracturing after the April 30th deadline please email hfreview@cbu.ca with links to those new resources so they can be posted on our website and shared with the panel. There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on the various discussions papers, which will form the basis of chapters in the final report. See the next question for more details.

Q: How can I provide feedback on the work of the Expert Panel?

A: The Expert Panel has published a Draft Chapter Release Timeline for the first draft of each chapter of the final report. Each chapter will be released as an independent discussion paper open to feedback from stakeholders.  The deadline to provide feedback on each chapter will be approximately 2 weeks and will be published at the time of the release of the chapter. All feedback will be taken into consideration during the final draft of each chapter. All feedback on each chapter will also be posted on the website. Feedback on each chapter can be provided several ways.

  • By using the discussion paper feedback form
  • By emailing your comments and feedback to hfreview@cbu.ca with the “discussion paper topic” in the subject line.
  • By writing to HF Review, Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, Cape Breton University, P.O.Box 5300, 1250 Grand Lake Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia, B1P 6L2

There may also be opportunities to participate in online discussions forums about each chapter, depending on the availability of the lead author during the feedback period. Details about these opportunities will be released after the release of the discussion paper. There will also be public meetings on the draft recommendations, see details in next question.

Q: Can you explain the process by which the panel members receive, read and digest all the reports, documents and submissions? 

A: All of the material submitted for the panel’s review is categorized and filed internally and provided to the panelists for their review. All shared material is also posted on the resources page of our website: www.cbu.ca/hfstudy. Submissions are broken down into several different categories and can be accessed at the links below. Because of the volume of submissions it could take up to several weeks to add new resources to our website.

 Q: Will there be public meetings and what is their purpose?

A: Yes, there are public meetings tentatively planned for the following destinations: Yarmouth, Windsor, Halifax, Truro, Tatamagouche, New Glasgow, Port Hawkesbury, Whycocomagh and Sydney. Meetings dates and specific locations are to be determined. The purpose of these meetings is for Dr. Wheeler and available panelists to present on the draft recommendations and solicit feedback on those recommendations for considerations in the final report. A press-release will be provided to local media prior to all public meetings and all registered stakeholders will receive email notification.

Q: How will the public meetings work?

A: The public meetings will begin with a presentation from Dr. Wheeler on the draft recommendations and will then be open questions, answers and feedback from community members.

Q: How will the outreach to Aboriginal communities work?

A: Following advice from Aboriginal member of the Expert Panel, Kevin Christmas, in February 2014 it was announced that more funding would be provided for an additional process on Aboriginal Outreach, administered by the Unama’ki College of Cape Breton University, in order to supplement our broader stakeholder engagement process. Deborah Ginnish has been hired as the Aboriginal Outreach Officer. She will be working in collaboration with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs and a technical working group they have established to help determine best practices for community engagement. She will also be working in collaboration directly with Chiefs, Elders, women and youth groups during her outreach. If you have any questions or would like to connect with Deborah directly you can email her at debra_ginnish@cbu.ca or call 902-563-1818.

For more questions and answers about the hydraulic fracturing review process please take a look at the video from the information session held in Halifax NS, on the review on April 15th 2015

You can also email any questions to hfreview@cbu.ca.