Second Level Assessment- Current Impacts

Mining Practices

Several fracked shale gas wells exist within the Pollett watershed (Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance 2009), with rights for fracking and gas extraction held by Headwater Exploration Inc. (Government of New Brunswick Oil and Natural Gas Viewer). The Alward government made a clear Provincial commitment to promoting shale gas development in New Brunswick (Alward 2014), and controversy erupted. Shortly there after the Gallant government came into office and enacted a moratorium on expansion (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2014). The concern if additional wells were added, impacts would include freshwater extraction from streams, habitat destruction and sedimentation during road building, and the potential for wastewater spills contaminating surface waters. The current Provincial government under Blaine Higgs has signalled openness to shale gas in recent years (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2023).

A granite quarry began operations in the Pollett watershed in 2009 (Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance 2009). The buffer between the main stem of the river and the quarry is adequate, however Gibson Brook, a tributary of the Pollett passes near the quarry and as the operation expands there is potential for the quarry to become a sediment source through deforestation, road building, and release of water due to ongoing drainage of the site.