December 9, 2014 5:48 pm

Alberta will not appeal court ruling that allows woman to sue over fracking

Oil patch consultant Jessica Ernst burns off some of the methane that is in her well water in Rosebud, Alta., June 2, 2011.


ROSEBUD, Alta. – Alberta will not appeal a court ruling that says a woman can sue the province over hydraulic fracturing that she alleges has so badly contaminated her well that the water can be set on fire.

Jessica Ernst began legal action against Alberta’s energy regulator and Calgary-based energy company Encana in 2007, and amended her statement of claim in 2011 to include Alberta Environment.

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Last month, Chief Justice Neil Wittmann of Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the government’s application to strike it from the lawsuit.

READ MORE: Judge rules Alberta can be sued over fracking allegations; province may appeal 

An Alberta Justice spokeswoman gave no reason for the government’s decision not to appeal.

Ernst alleges fracking on her land northeast of Calgary released hazardous amounts of chemicals such as methane into her well and that her concerns were not properly investigated. She says she is delighted and surprised by the province’s decision not to appeal and is looking forward to reading the government’s statement of defence.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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