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Question for Department for Energy and Climate Change

UIN 213684, tabled on 6 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent representations he has received on the safety concerns relating to fracking; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

10 November 2014

The Department regularly receives representations regarding safety, or other concerns, relating to shale gas development and exploration and we have produced a range of guidance material which set out how these concerns are addressed. These can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/providing-regulation-and-licensing-of-energy-industries-and-infrastructure/supporting-pages/developing-shale-gas-and-oil-in-the-uk

We have a strong regulatory framework in place to ensure a comprehensive regime for exploratory activities, and the UK has over 50 years of experience in oil and gas drilling. All of the right regulations are in place to ensure on-site safety, prevent water contamination, air pollution and mitigate seismic activity.

In June 2012 the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering published an independent review of the scientific and engineering evidence on risks associated with UK shale gas development. Their report concluded that environmental (and health and safety) risks can be managed effectively in the UK, when operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation.

In June 2014, Public Health England published a report that evaluated available evidence on issues including air quality, radon gas, naturally occurring radioactive materials, water contamination and waste water. They concluded that “the risks to public health from exposure to emissions from shale gas extraction are low if operations are properly run and regulated.”

Answered by

Department for Energy and Climate Change