Awareness of environmental racism in Nova Scotia has changed for the better over the last five years or so. A private members bill, shaped to a large extent by Dr. Ingrid Waldron and introduced by then NDP MLA Lenore Zann in 2015, played a considerable part in that shift. Waldron and Zann, now a Liberal MP, are giving the legislation another shot, this time in Ottawa.

Alton Gas likes to brag about the soundness of its plans and its willingness to share information with stakeholders. However, if it weren’t for Rachael Greenland-Smith and Dale Poulette, two stubborn citizen-researchers, we would never have seen evidence that the federal department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC) point blank refused to approve the project as it is currently proposed.

“This regulation and rush to drill takes us completely in the opposite direction from the government’s stated commitments on climate change. Given the recent history of spills and accidents off Newfoundland, the risk of spills and even a blowout is simply too high to roll the dice for the over a hundred new wells on the books right now. Seismic blasting and noise from drilling threatens rich habitat for whales and other ocean life. The stakes were simply too high to let this regulation and the incomplete assessment upon which it relies to stand.

Matt Dort takes a close look at a recent Chronicel Herald story about Northern Pulp and the Northumberland Strait, and finds that it’s not simply a matter of meeting regulations. What if the regulations are flawed? What if there are other problems that aren’t even part of these regulations? What if the Strait is already at its maximum threshold for pollution?

After talking with with civil servants at Environment and Climate Change Canada, local water protectors believe.that Alton Gas doesn’t have the necessary approvals to start the release of brine into the Shubenacadie River. We asked the feds and the province what’s up, and their responses were pretty vague.