The Quebec government has outlined new measures that ban fracking for shale gas. According to CBC News, Pierre Moreau, the minister of energy and natural resources announced the newly formulated measures in an effort to regulate oil and gas exploration. This move comes with a focus to ensure the low-lying Lower St. Lawrence region, in particular, would be protected.
“The story of the energy transition is being written, and these rules on hydrocarbons are part of that,” Moreau said.
The government plans to extend the ban to a one-kilometer radius surrounding the municipalities. “This regulatory measure means that any exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons will be strictly banned on the entire surface of the island of Montreal and the island of Laval,” he added.
Additionally, away from the urban areas and one-kilometer zones, the government plans to increase the permissible distance between oil and gas drilling sites. Monreau described this as ‘sensitive’ areas.
However, some environmental groups are not fully convinced with the move and said in a statement the government is ‘on the wrong track’.
Nature Québec’s executive director, Christian Simard, said:“The new rules still put at risk water and natural environments located near the next drilling sites to be authorised.”