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SWN set to resume seismic testing tomorrow

Efforts apparently will focus on 'Line 5', clearcut road west of Rogersville.

by Miles Howe

Despite promises for a joint statement from AFN chief Atleo and Elsipogtog First Nation, none has been forthcoming. Instead, seismic testing is set to resume Thursday, July 4th. [Photo: Miles Howe]
Despite promises for a joint statement from AFN chief Atleo and Elsipogtog First Nation, none has been forthcoming. Instead, seismic testing is set to resume Thursday, July 4th. [Photo: Miles Howe]

ELSIPOGTOG, NEW BRUNSWICK - Off record sources close to talks currently ongoing between the AFN and SWN Resources Canada confirm that the Texas-based company is tomorrow set to resume seismic testing in Kent County, New Brunswick.

The source confirms that SWN will focus its efforts on 'Line 5', a seismic line west of highway 126, where earlier attempts to stop seismic testing trucks, or 'thumpers', resulted in over 30 arrests. 

Line 5, 35.9 kilometres in length, is decidedly different terrain, being mostly a clearcut line through sparsely populated bush. It is doubtful that SWN's thumpers, more suited to paved roads, will be able to navigate the clearcut road.

Instead, it is likely that the company will use shot-hole drillers, which gather seismic data by drilling holes 10-15 metres into the earth and then setting off detonations, to conduct their testing.

Despite the talks between the AFN, ostensibly the representatives of the First Nations peoples of the area, and SWN, leadership at the sacred fire encampment is resolute in its stance against shale gas exploration.

"What we've decided is that we're going to move in and try to put a stop to it again tomorrow," says John Levi, Elsipogtog war chief. "I'm just hoping [the AFN] listens to somebody. We've been crying here, hoping that they hear our cries, before they start poisoning our waters."

Levi encourages supporters to stay abreast of calls for support by checking in on Shale Gas Alerts New Brunswick, a facebook group, or to simply head to the sacred fire encampment early tomorrow morning (July 4th).


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