Mi’kmaq and non-Indigenous allies are actively opposing the completion of the Alton Gas project near Stewiacke, Nova Scotia.
Alton Gas proposes to create two salt caverns in which they want to store natural gas underground, with the expressed intention to build up to 15 more.
The creation of the salt caverns would result in huge quantities of highly concentrated salt brine, which the company plans to dump down the Shubenacadie River.
At full operation, Alton gas will be releasing approx. 10 million litres of brine (3,170 tonnes of hard salt) into the Shubenacadie River system each day.
They want salt caverns for high pressure natural gas storage. Salt cavern gas storage has a 40% failure rate globally and a 65% failure rate in the U.S, and pose a serious threat to groundwater.
Mi’kmaq communities have not been adequately consulted by Alton Gas Storage LP and the provincial or federal governments about this project. The dumping of the salty brine would devastate the river, and all the life that depends on it.
The studies that have been done examining the impact of this project on the river focused on striped bass eggs and larvae and left out endangered Atlantic Salmon, Tommycod, American eel, Atlantic sturgeon, and Atlantic Mud piddock.
During the fall of 2016 Mi’kmaq opponents of the Alton Gas project, supported by non-Indigenous allies, set up a truckhouse along the banks of the Shubenacadie River near the Alton Gas brine dumping site.
The right to have a truck house is explicitly laid out in the 1752 Peace and Friendship Treaty.
On May 23 Mi’kmaq land protectors set up a Treaty Camp along the entrance to the Alton Gas work site, effective blocking the company from working on the project.
This camp continues to this date, and needs on-going support and donations.