Steps taken in Rosebud CBM lawsuit | DrumhellerMail
02252021Thu
Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 12pm

Steps taken in Rosebud CBM lawsuit

    A suit filed by Rosebud landowner Jessica Ernst alleging water contamination, will go ahead, but without the Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB).
    Ernst filed a $33 million suit against Encana, Alberta Environment and the ERCB. The claims are for damaging her water well and the Rosebud aquifer. She alleges Encana’s exploration for coal bed methane in the area between 2001 and 2006 resulted in contamination. Her case drew wide notoriety after it was shown gas levels in her water were so high they could be lit.
    The ERCB was named in the suit alleging it was negligent as a regulator, and it should have taken steps to protect her water from contamination.
    The ERCB made application to have its name struck from the suit. The Honourable Justice Neil Whitmann made a judgment agreeing with the ERCB and removed a number of paragraphs naming the ERCB.  Ernst also had a Charter of Rights claim against the ERCB alleging her Freedom of Speech was violated. Justice Whittman agreed this claim was valid, however the Limitations Act bars this from proceeding.
    Ernst launched her lawsuit in 2007.   This claim was amended twice. In June of last year a “Fresh Statement of Claim” was filed, which was the subject of this most recent application.
    According to a report on The Tyee, a daily online news magazine, Ernst is planning to appeal the decision.
    In August of this year, Encana filed a Statement of Defense, explaining that Encana did not use what is known as hydraulic fracturing, but used nitrogen to stimulate two wells near Ernst’s property. Both wells were deemed unproductive.
    The statements in the above claims have not been proven in court.


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