Penobsquis is a small community in southern New Brunswick within the Parish of Cardwell. The population of Cardwell was about 1, 500 in the 2006 census.

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Stars Lost Wells Dots Seismic Testing

Lost Wells Seismic Testing

Within 6km of the Centre of Penobsquis you can find:

  • 2 potash mines – one in production, one in construction
  • A brine pipeline that hauls water from the Potash Mine to the Bay of Fundy, while trucks continue to haul water to the Port of Saint John
  • PotashCorp is taking water from the Kennebecasis River for use in their operations
  • Ground that is settling/sinking (subsidence) due to the mining and the pumping of the water from underground.
  • Ground that is moving sideways (horizontal displacement)
  • Over 7 million litres of water a day (plus) flooding into the Potash mine from right underneath our homes
  • 70 monuments and 6 monitoring stations to keep track of how much the ground is moving, but in place by PotashCorp
  • A grouting station – cement is pumped underground from this noisy facility that also creates light and dust pollution — less than 100 metres from homes
  • A drill rig site for pumping aggregate, sawdust, plastic, rubber and other materials underground into groundwater
  • At least 6 other potash drill sites
  • 16 well pads
  • 30 gas wells in Production
  • 17 of these wells are on government designated flood plain 
  • 1 oil well
  • 2 natural gas/compressor stations with burning flares – one is PotashCorp’s, one is Corridor Resources’
  • About 17 kms of pipelines between the potash mine and the gas company
  • Some of this gas pipeline through the area where the ground is sinking the most creating safety concerns
  • Some of this pipeline running beside the railway (including some above ground) – a safety concern in case of derailment
  • Some of this pipeline in road allowances – again a safety concern in case of an accident. 
  • St least 12 active gravel pits supplying industry
  • Shale and tight gas wells – both unconventional gases
  • Some of the wells are horizontally drilled wells

 Witin 6kms of Penobsquis, we’ve had:

  • Houses that have shaken from seismic testing
  • Window seals cracked
  • Over 60 water wells and springs lost
  • Increased traffic of ATV’s and snowmobiles on Seismic trails, widened woods roads, and pipeline right of ways
  • Increased traffic, including rig trucks, pumper trucks etc. Including having over 350 truckloads of brine shipped per day a one point
  • Many septic fields re-done 
  • Issues with homes
  • Noise, Light, dust, and air pollution
  • Pipelines put in Road Allowances to avoid landowners
  • At least one grass fire caused by flaring
  • Hydraulic Fracturing on almost all the wells, “Fracking” has been done here for 10 years
  • At least one spill of radioactive fracking fluid – spilled on one pad – buried on another
  • Propane Fracturing
  • Numerous diesel spills on well sites
  • Landowners falsely threatened with expropriation
  • Promises not met on top soil, repairs to roads, and other landowner matters
  • Livestock gates left open – Animals let out of fences, animals run through fences when scared of low flying helicopters
  • Pets that have suffered stress from noise and shaking
  • No hunting allowed within 400 m of well pads
  • Sink holes
  • Our natural gas shipped out of our community; it’s being piped for use in the United States
  • Holes in the ground from Seismic Blasting – even left in pastures (animals could break a leg)

 When we lost water:

  • We drilled new wells
  • Deepened existing ones
  • Bathed in the brook
  • Hauled water from the brook for laundry
  • Hauled water for livestock
  • Hauled water for drinking and other household use
  • We lost expensive pumps
  • Had to replace taps and some appliances/washing machines due to the gritty/dirty water some of us initially experienced

 While water was being delivered:

  • We had water tanks and a pump in our basements
  • We had bottled water delivered by the mine
  • We had to leave our homes unlocked
  • We had basements flooded – trucking company compensated us
  • We had to heat outside sheds with water tanks
  • We had basement windows broken
  • 2-3 times a week mud was tracked through our homes
  • Some experienced rashes from the water
  • There was debris floating in the water
  • The water hoses leaked significantly.  The hoses were rolled up over lawns neighbors dogs used for their bathroom. Sometimes Dog feces incrusted hoses with holes were used to provide water to the next house.
  • The public health inspector came, gave the truck drivers instructions to keep our water safe…but the instructions were not followed.

4 Responses to Penobsquis

  1. Carl Wolpin says:

    A shame on the Province, something that should never have happened. If any government wishes to sincerely speak about shale or potash development or industrial development of any type, justice has to be done for the residents of Penobsquis. This must NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. Carl Wolpin

  2. Debra Hopper says:

    My heart goes out to all of you. I can only imagine the hardships that you have suffered. To be forsaken by your own government is a warning to us all. Industry rules unless we, the people, stand together and tell our government that they are elected by us to serve us. They can prove this by seeing that the affected people of Penobsquis are treated fairly.
    I will be there on October 12 to lend my support in whatever way I can.

  3. James Owen says:

    Very sorry to hear the horror stories that have taken place in this area. As a outsider
    ( raised and living on the Eastern Shore of NS, Sheet Harbour to be exact ) I am currently staying in the Timberland while up here for a few months doing exploration work for gold, I was made aware of the devistating situation local resisdences have been having with the Potash mining industry. Sometimes we dont apprechiate what we have untill we loose it! It is unfortunate that those elected to insure our best intrest and well being can be bought out by big industry all in the name of GREED!
    They come, throw some money at us, use the land and its resources, and then leave us and our children with the bill.
    1 Timothy 6:10 KJV
    “For the love of money is the root of all evil: Which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ”

    It is truly amazing… what man will do for money!
    Psalm 24:1 ” The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein.”

    Lets try to remember that we are but STEWARDS of what he has created.

  4. Thomas Frank says:

    Having a little understaning of geology, and having relatives in the Penobsquis area, I have to agree this is a ‘no brainer’. Some of my relatives work at the mine and say things like “there is no such thing as mining subsidence”, or “they just need to shut up because my job is on the line”. I find that very discouraging.
    There is no doubt this mine is making lots of money for PCS shareholders. It’s past time for them to pay for the damage they are doing. Unintentional damage they do while they make profits should be compensated from before they take that profit.
    It’s only fair.