In 2008, Triangle Petroleum presented its Development Application Plan which outlined a project to explore and develop shale gas in four areas in Nova Scotia, Canada. One year before, the company had received permits to explore and extract shale gas and other petrochemicals for the 192,000 hectare Windsor Block, located mainly in East and West Hants, Nova Scotia. Triangle Petroleum wanted to exploit shale gas using horizontal drilling with high-pressure hydraulic fracturing from multi-well pads – commonly known as fracking.
By April 2013, only five exploration wells had been drilled vertically, of which three were fracked. Permits to withdraw fresh water for fracking operations from different rivers and lakes were granted for two one-year periods from September 2007 until September 2009. Environmental NGOs and biologists shared their concerns about the contamination of fresh water and the chemicals used by Triangle Petroleum during the fracking process. Moreover, ponds destined to store fresh water were built at different sites and later allegedly used for wastewater storage. Overflows and leakage has been reported for at least one of the ponds in 2011 and has possibly been contaminating rivers and lakes in the area.
By 2011, protests about the fracking had intensified and local environmental NGOs started campaigning against Triangle Petroleum's operations and for a moratorium on shale gas fracking in Nova Scotia. The same year, the Nova Scotia government had announced to conduct a joint internal hydraulic fracturing review (2011-2012) to examine the potential impacts of fracking operations in the province, mainly focusing on the effects on ground and surface water, but also on land and waste management. In reaction to the protests and in order to extend its review of hydraulic fracturing until 2014, Nova Scotia enacted a moratorium on the practice for two years back in 2012.
In 2013, the Nova Scotia government commissioned an independent review of the effects of hydraulic fracturing in the region, led by the President of Cape Breton University. The final report was released on 28 August 2014 and also considered in the government's decision on the role of fracking in the development of onshore oil and gas resources.
September 2014, Nova Scotia's Energy Minister Andrew Younger announced the government's plans to introduce legislation prohibiting hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in shale oil and gas projects in the whole province. Following through on their promise, the moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing was continued on 30 September 2014, when the government introduced an amendment on Nova Scotia's Petroleum Resources Act. The law's proposed indefinite moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore oil and gas from shale deposits includes an exemption that would allow fracking for testing and research purposes.
Although not so strong as in New Brunswick (Elsipogtog protest), in Nova Scotia a First Nation community appealed the Colchester County's decision to approve the disposal of millions of litres of fracking wastewater in its sewer system.(See less)