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March 9, 2005 - Third Party Report Clears Project To Proceed

March 9, 2005

Third Party Report Clears Project To Proceed

An independent third party review of the TransGas cavern project near Vanscoy has found that the project, from a hydrogeological perspective, may resume at the planned pumping rates. The project uses groundwater from the Tyner Valley Aquifer to flush out salt deposits to create natural gas storage. Local residents had expressed concern about water level impacts in private wells located in the Tessier Aquifer and in a shallow aquifer near the ground surface.

The independent report by the Saskatchewan Research Council found that there had been an unanticipated impact on water levels in a small section of the Tessier Aquifer, but that the proposed rate of pumping would not draw down water levels beyond the top of the aquifer. Water levels in the near surface aquifer were not affected by the project, according to the report. The report does not support a link between the project and groundwater quality issues. 

In response to local concerns and at the request of the Authority, TransGas had suspended pumping on December 13th, 2004 pending the third party review. Local residents were consulted on and supported the appointment of Harm Maathuis of the Saskatchewan Research Council as the third party reviewer. The main body of Mr. Maathuis's report is available through requests sent to: comm@swa.ca

Over the coming days, Authority officials will be talking to the project proponent and with local residents regarding the next steps. Watershed Authority will make the final decision within the next week. 

The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority manages and protects water quantity and source water quality in Saskatchewan.

For More Information, Contact:

Nolan Shaheen
Saskatchewan Watershed Authority
Moose Jaw
Phone: (306) 694-3963
Cell: (306) 230-1632