Quebec to ban shale fracking, limit oil-and-gas exploration

Quebec Minister of Natural Resources Pierre Moreau unveiled the new measures on Wednesday. Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press

The Quebec government will ban fracking for shale gas and impose stricter rules when it comes to the exploration, extraction and storage of oil and gas.

“The safety of people, of goods and the protection of the environment is a prerequisite,” said Quebec’s Minister of Natural Resources Pierre Moreau as he unveiled the new measures on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Quebec government puts end to oil and gas exploration on Anticosti Island

The move, which comes after the province held public consultations last fall, will amend the Petroleum Resources Act.

As part of the measures, the government will prohibit all fracking activities in lakes and rivers across Quebec.

The province also plans to expand the areas where oil-and-gas exploration is not allowed.

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READ MORE: What is fracking?

Under the plan, Quebec will prohibit exploring and developing gas in urban areas and will add a one-kilometre protection zone around those areas.

Outside of urban areas and protective zones, it will also double the distance where drilling is allowed. For schools, hospitals and public buildings outside of those areas, there will be a 550-metre protective zone.

The province will also take a closer look at all exploration and storage proposals. They will be analyzed by Quebec’s Energy Board and will undergo a public environmental evaluation process.

with files from The Canadian Press

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