Lawsuit against government, Encana highlights 'fracking' environmental issues: Lawyer

Publication Type:

Newspaper Article


Calgary Herald (2011)







The lawyer leading a $33-million lawsuit against Encana, the Alberta government and the province’s energy regulator says the case speaks to broader environmental concerns across North America about fracking.

“It’s very much the same issues all over,” said Murray Klippenstein, a Toronto-based litigator.

Klippenstein is representing landowner Jessica Ernst, who has long argued that coal bed methane drilling around her Rosebud-area home northeast of Calgary has resulted in the pollution of her well water.

“The hydraulic fracturing issues that Jessica raises in her lawsuit are coming up more and more publicly, with more and more concerns, not only in Alberta, but in B.C. and Quebec, and all over the United States,” he said.

A lawsuit filed in Drumheller last week alleges Encana, Alberta Environment and the Energy Resources Conservation Board are all responsible for damages. She claims the natural gas giant for faulty drilling practices, and the government and board for failing to properly investigate or enforce the province’s environmental rules.

Ernst is demanding more than $10 million from each.

See: New Lawsuit Filed in Fracking Country

See: Pennsylvania lawsuit says drilling polluted water

See: History of Litigation Concerning Hydraulic Fracturing to Produce Coalbed Methane. LEAF (Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation) and The Hydraulic Fracturing Decisions.

See: Affirming Gasland

See: Lenape Resources, Inc.

See: Breaking news: EPA vetoes Spruce Mine permit

See: The Effect of the United States Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence on Clean Water Act Citizen Suits: Muddied Waters

See: WATER: Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act, Foiling E.P.A.