Change to Fracking Rules Creates Further Controversy
An amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which was debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday will allow fracking companies to put “any substance” under land in the context of exploiting gas and petroleum. Controversial measures to allow fracking under homes without the homeowners consent are already being pushed through despite 99% opposition voiced in a recent Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) consultation.
Talking about the new proposals, a spokesperson from DECC told The Guardian, “Shale and geothermal have the potential to bolster our energy security, create jobs and growth and provide a bridge to a greener future. Operators must demonstrate that where any chemicals are left in the waste frack fluid, this will not lead to pollution of groundwater. The Environment Agency will not permit the use of chemicals where these are hazardous to groundwater.”
The exact wording of the amendment to the current bill will permit “passing any substance through, or putting any substance into, deep-level land” while also giving companies “the right to leave deep-level land in a different condition from [that before] including by leaving any infrastructure or substance in the land.” Companies will still be required to obtain the relevant planning permission and environmental permits before starting work. The Bill is now set to return to the House of Lords at the report stage on November 3rd.
You can read the full debate on the proposed amendments here