Responding to stakeholder concerns regarding potential hydraulic fracturing in western Newfoundland

Allen, Tsai J. (2017) Responding to stakeholder concerns regarding potential hydraulic fracturing in western Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Stakeholder views should be considered in decisions relating to natural resource management. There are public consultation processes in countries such as Canada but it is unknown if citizen participation impacts policy-making. This study explores one such case of whether the views and opinions of the public were considered in decision-making. The public was invited to participate in the decision-making process associated with the prospect of hydraulic fracturing along the West Coast of Newfoundland. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador instituted an independent panel to conduct a public review and assess the potential socio-economic and environmental implications of hydraulic fracturing. The Panel subsequently provided a report to the Minister of the Environment erring on the side of caution. The Panel neither supported nor opposed hydraulic fracturing citing the unavailability of sufficient research data for their neutral stance. Citizens, businesses and other organizations, raised several concerns such as apprehensions about water, health and quality of life for future generations through submissions to the Panel. Content and document analysis were used to ascertain the concerns raised in the five hundred and forty-five submissions and compare them against the recommendations made by the Panel. The research determined that the Panel largely addressed the concerns raised in the participants’ submissions. Nonetheless, the study concluded that improvement is needed in future panel compositions as well as in efforts to actively engage members of the public. These changes are necessary in providing an impartial, deliberative and democratic decision that is representative of stakeholders.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12981
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 146-181).
Keywords: Public Participation, Hydraulic Fracturing, Newfoundland
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: June 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hydraulic fracturing -- Social aspects -- Newfoundland and Labrador; Hydraulic fracturing -- Environmental aspects -- Newfoundland and Labrador

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