Anti-frackers hail medical support

Gas battle: Anti-fracking protestors at Lancashire County Hall
Gas battle: Anti-fracking protestors at Lancashire County Hall
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Anti fracking campaigners are urging Lancashire County Council to heed medics’ warning and follow the example of New York State.

The US state has banned fracking on health grounds following a moratorium on the practice which involves extracting natural gas from deep lying shale rocks using high pressure water and chemicals.

A British-based medical campaign group Medact has written to the county council urging them to reject energy company Cuadrilla’s planning permission bids to drill and frack for gas at two sties on the Fylde.

Public health charity Medact with a membership of around 900 doctors, nurses and health professionals has written to the council saying that industrial-scale fracking would “pose unacceptable risks to the health and well-being of local residents.”

It also says that the current regulation is “not fit for purpose”.

Friends of the Earth’s North West campaigner Helen Rimmer said:“This latest objection, from a respected organisation of public health professionals, adds to the growing call for Lancashire County Council to refuse these risky fracking plans.”

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said of the New York ban: “This is significant news.

“Roseacre Awareness Group are pleased that, at last, the dangers of fracking are being recognised in the US and Canada and that politicians are showing the courage of their convictions to ban this damaging industry.”

But a Cuadrilla spokesman said: “We know shale gas exploration and extraction can be carried out in the UK safely, securely and in an environmental responsible way, and we will do that.

“Our planning applications for Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood are accompanied by comprehensive Environmental Statements which are the product of thousands of hours of work from highly qualified independent expert environmental scientists and other engineering specialists.

“We are very confident that our proposed activities will not adversely impact people’s health.”