Report Calls for ‘No-Frack Zones’ to Protect Wildlife
A report by wildlife and countryside groups including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the National Trust has called for the setting up of no-frack zones around the country’s most sensitive conservation areas.
Later this year, ministers are planning to give energy companies the opportunity to apply for the rights to drill across almost 40,000 square miles in order to search for shale gas. Simon Pryor, the National Trust’s natural environment director, is concerned that current regulations are inadequate to protect wildlife. “The regulation of shale gas needs to be improved if it’s to offer adequate protection for sensitive environments. Whilst the government is keen to see rapid roll-out of fracking, there’s a real danger that the regulatory system simply isn’t keeping pace,” he said.
One of the major concerns expressed in the report, entitled ‘Are We Fit To Frack?’, is that water contamination and shortages could have serious impacts for a range of threatened species including salmon and pink footed geese. The report, which was reviewed by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and is supported by a cross-party group of MPs, recommends that full independent environmental assessments of drilling plans should be made a legal requirement. Earlier this week ministers rejected a ‘blanket ban’ on fracking in national parks, claiming local councils were best placed to make decisions on an individual basis.
You can download a copy of ‘Are We Fit To Frack?’ here