Fracking issues could ‘fall through the gaps’ – PCE

Fracking issues could ‘fall through the gaps’ – PCE by New Zealand Listener, December 5, 2012
New Zealand’s fragmented oversight of the oil and gas industry could result in potential ‘fracking’ problems slipping through the gaps, says the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. … Dr Wright said one of the main issues she planned to spend more time investigating was how the oil and gas industry and its use of fracking techniques was monitored in New Zealand. … “With respect to Canterbury, I do have concerns. That is one reason for my finding about ‘watch where you drill’.” … Wright said she had not reached “a firm conclusion” that there had been no problems caused yet by fracking in that region. “While I haven’t found any big red flags, I will be having a closer look at the monitoring that has been done. …  The commissioner’s final report is due in mid-2013. Findings of the interim fracking report:
Government oversight and regulation
* Oversight is complex and fragmented.
* Regulation may be too light-handed.
* Companies have not earned public trust.
Environmental risks management
* Well sites must be chosen carefully, away from earthquake faultlines.
* Wells must be designed and constructed to prevent leaks.
* Spills and leaks must be prevented on the surface.
* Waste must be stored and disposed of with care.

The Report by The New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

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