Protecting School Children from Natural Gas Wells and Pipelines

Protecting School Children from Natural Gas Wells and Pipelines ELC Home

December 12, 2013

The ELC and lawyer Tim Thielmann asked Premier Clark today to protect children who go to school in areas surrounded by gas wells and pipelines. Acting for the Peace Environment and Safety Trustees Society (PESTS), the ELC asked the province to tighten the rules for natural gas facilities near public schools. Gas wells and pipelines already surround a number of schools in northeast BC. Many of the wells contain harmful pollutants, including potentially lethal sour gas. This problem will become more critical as LNG expansion creates thousands of new gas wells in the region. Substantial public health and safety issues arise, particularly in light of BC’s weak laws and seriously flawed Emergency Response Plans. The submission asks government to act urgently to:


  • Increase minimum setback distances between schools and gas wells, pipelines and other facilities;
  • Strengthen the requirements for Emergency Response Plans for schools near gas wells and pipelines;
  • Strengthen requirements for gas leak detection systems, and for air quality monitoring; and
  • Introduce regulations to reduce flaring and other releases of natural gas.

Finally, the submission argues that any plans for a new “world-class” LNG industry must include a “world-class” safety strategy for children surrounded by natural gas wells and pipelines.

Click here to read the letter to Premier Clark

Click here to read the report


2013-12-12 BC gas rules put school kids in danger, Vancouver Sun, Stephen Hume

2013-12-12 Are oil and gas facilities edging too close to schools in northeast BC? New study suggests they are, Globe and Mail, Mark Hume

2013-12-12 Peace Region students at risk from nearby gas wells: report,, Erica Fisher

2013-12-13 Industry, government say existing rules keep school kids safe from sour gas, Vancouver Sun, Gordon Hoekstra

2013-12-18 Uvic study raises safety concerns about oil, gas near schools Times Colonist, William Stodalka

2014-12-29 Exodus of top officials halted progressive sour gas regulations Vancouver Sun, Stephen Hume

2014-01-21 What happens when oil drilling is too close to home, CBC Radio – The Current with Anna Maria Tremonte

2014-02-04 Birth Defects Linked to Natural Gas Mining, The Tyee, Andrew Nikiforuk