Health report questions regulation on fracking

Cuadrilla Resources near Preston, Lancashire
Cuadrilla Resources near Preston, Lancashire
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A new report from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has called into question the regulatory system over fracking.

“Shale gas and fracking: examining the evidence” was produced in conjunction with environmentalist scientist group Scientists for Global Responsibility.

It highlights:

n “Major shortcomings in regulatory oversight regarding local environmental and public health risks.

“The large potential for UK shale gas exploitation to undermine efforts to tackle climate change.

“The water-intensive nature of the fracking process which could cause water shortages in many areas.

“The complete lack of evidence behind claims that shale gas exploitation will bring down UK energy bills”.

CIEH chief executive Graham Jukes said: “The CIEH has consistently made the case for a full independent environmental impact assessment to be carried out on all shale gas extraction proposals before permission to drill is given.

“In the enthusiasm to exploit new sources of energy we must ensure there are no unacceptable adverse impacts on the environment or on the health of people.

“Local authorities should resist allowing shale gas extraction in their areas until they are satisfied on that point.”

A spokesman for the Roseacre Awareness Group said: “We are pleased at last that respected, independent bodies are now backing up what anti-fracking groups have been saying all along.”

But gas exploration firm Cuadrilla hit back saying Arup had completed an independent environmental Impact assessment into the possible effects of fracking around sites at Roaseacre Wood and Little Plumpton.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry UKOOG, said: “This report is selective in its use of available information, highly inaccurate and in places contradicts itself.”

He added that extensive research by the likes of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering showed fracking could be carried out safely.