Fracking runs “high risk” of polluting countryside, UK Government report warns

Fracking runs “high risk” of polluting countryside, Government report warns by The Daily Mirror, August 16, 2013
Fracking for shale gas runs a high risk of polluting the countryside, a Government report has warned. A study by the Environment Agency says the controversial mining technique could result in chemicals damaging the environment. Other risks include earthquakes leading to contamination of water sources, property damage and the release of dangerous gases. The dangers are spelled out in an impact assessment drawn up for ministers by the Environment Agency. It says there is a “high risk” that fracking – hydraulic fracturing – for shale gas could result in “pollution caused by a substance released during the exploration process.”

… The Government recently announced tax breaks for the industry in the hope it could meet some of the UK’s energy needs. But the Environment Agency’s report lays bare the risks involved in the controversial process. These include a “high risk” of pollution caused by the chemicals pumped into the ground. … According to the Environment Agency seismic activity could result, if things go wrong, in “contamination and potential loss of any water resources encountered, loss of or damage to a habitat, release of fugitive gas emissions with attendant risks and damage to property.”

The dangers of fracking are also listed in another Government document released last month by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Its planning guidance warns that shale gas extraction “may have adverse and positive environmental effects” including the risk of contamination to land. … “These are risks not worth taking, especially given that numerous experts are saying UK shale gas will not reduce household bills.” [Emphasis added]

Communities must be FORCED to accept fracking says senior Tory MP Tim Yeo by Jennifer Smith, August 16, 2013, The Daily Mail
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Mr Yeo said: ‘It is in the best interest of local communities that the country accepts fracking. ‘Local concerns of course have to be respected, but we must compel communities to accept this new method.’ … The MP for South Suffolk pointed to the success of shale gas fracking in the U.S. ‘The U.S. experience shows that it is possible to do this safely.’ He said that though this new method of drilling could help address the country’s future energy problems, there is a strong need for a regulatory body to be put in place. ‘It needs to be very heavily regulated. We definitely need a regulatory regime, but my committee stands by the idea that it is possible.’ [Emphasis added]

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