Second Level Assessment- Current Impacts

Mining Practices

Oil and Natural Gas lease rights in the northern half of the main stem of the Petitcodiac watershed are currently registered SWN Resources Inc. (Government of New Brunswick 2024).  SWN is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwestern Energy Company in the US (SWN 2015).  SWN holds two leases along the main stem of the Petitcodiac near Salisbury.  One is just north of River Glade with a corner that takes in the mouth of the Pollett River. The other includes Salisbury and the mouth of the Little River. The southern half, around Petitcodiac, is owned by Headwater Exploration Inc (Government of New Brunswick 2024). Headwater Exploration is a Canadian company that operates in Alberta and New Brunswick.   

In 2013 seismic testing by SWN in New Brunswick on Mi’kmaq traditional lands north of Moncton was halted following protests that became violent and attracted national media attention.  On March 17th, 2015, SWN received an extension on its licenses which were due to expire (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2015). The former Liberal Provincial government enacted a moratorium on expansion (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2014), however the new Conservative Government led by Blaine Higgs has announced its intention to put an end to the moratorium and renew fracking in New Brunswick (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2018). If wells are eventually drilled in the portion of the Petitcodiac watershed draining directly into the main stem, impacts will include freshwater extraction from streams, habitat destruction and sedimentation during road building, and the potential for wastewater spills contaminating surface waters.