Gas Company Suing Village over Water Rights

Ristigouche-Sud-Est in Gaspésie region sued for passing bylaw protecting water sources from drilling

The Gaspésie village of Ristigouche-Sud-Est is being sued by Gastem, a Quebec-based oil and gas exploration and development company, for passing a bylaw in March 2013 establishing a two-kilometre no-drill zone near its municipal water sources.

Now the town, which is home to 168 people, is facing a lawsuit five times its annual budget.

Gastem president Raymond Savoie said the passage of the bylaw was done without consulting the company.

Savoie said the company has provincial government permits to drill in zones the village is trying to protect.

Ristigouche-Sud-Est mayor François Boulay launched a $225,000 fundraising campaign on Tuesday for its legal defence against Gastem.

The town set up a website to solicit online and mail-in donations. It has so far raised just under $15,000 (external - login to view).
He said that the town has already spent more than a third of that on lawyer.

Quebec’s Environment Minister David Heurtel last week brought in a new regulation on oil and gas drilling near waterways, establishing a 500-metre protected perimeter around potable water sources.

More than 70 Quebec towns have adopted similar bylaws.

“If Minister Heurtel’s rule from last week was in place at the time the gas company arrived [in Ristigouche], we would not be in the situation we are in today,” Boulay said.

However, Boulay said the Ministry of Municipal Affairs told him it would be inappropriate to get involved in the case because it is subject to a legal proceeding.

Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau told CBC/Radio-Canada he did not refuse to meet the mayor of Ristigouche-Sud-Est and said he was available to meet Boulay at the end of August to discuss the case.

Ristigouche crowdfunds its defence in $1.5M gas company lawsuit - Montreal - CBC News
That might save that aquifer but what about the ones where gas is leeching into them? With the water losing it's use for drinking and possibly other used could the well pipe not be raised higher so it was getting the gas that is in the zone. If not at that location then once it is at the surface and the lower pressure allows the gas. to escape. Capture it soon enough and your bottle of water can also light a cigarette. Sending the gas far would not be worth it put collection and use by the locals should have them heating even the worst out-house and it doesn't cost a dime. Cities might be able to get all the local farmers to sell the extra they can gather.

Why not have a new industry that deals with water like that so a well feeds a 500gallon tank and by the time it is used some is for drinking and cooking, some is for washing clothes and floors and some is for plants and the gas that is captured heats the water and furnaces and maybe even a vehicle or two is using it. Development cost, $10M, cost per unit at walmart. $19.99, sales worldwide, 80B. Time off work because you were ill, zero, total medical cost for 20 years. $23.98 GST included.
El Barto
#3  Top Rated Post
Good for them for standing up against those money making don't give a **** about what you have to deal with after we leave bozo.
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The village probably should have thought of this before the company paid for drilling rights in the area. Because of this the company will most likely win unless some level of government hands over some cash to cover costs incurred to date. One of the many areas where our multiple levels of government have got to learn to coordinate laws.
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