New Brunswick health officer says measures needed before shale gas development

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FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health says strong measures to protect public health must be put in place before further development of a shale gas industry is allowed.

Dr. Eilish Cleary spoke publicly today following the release Monday of her report on health impacts from shale gas development.

She says while a successful shale gas industry can create greater prosperity for the cash-strapped province, money needs to be spent wisely to ensure there are programs and infrastructure to protect health.

The Opposition Liberals have called for a moratorium, but Cleary says that's a moot point because there's plenty of time to put protective measures in place before commercial development occurs.

University of Moncton biologist Louis LaPierre released a report Monday that calls for a phased-in approach with just one to three wells to allow for research and development.

Energy Minister Craig Leonard says he agrees the only way research can be done is by allowing the industry to proceed in a limited fashion, but he added he needs to study both reports further.

Geographic location: New Brunswick, FREDERICTON, Moncton

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