Nottinghamshire County Council will be approving a Minerals Plan for consultation in November. But so far they have refused to include a policy which protects us from the specific problems of fracking. Their current policy does not recognise:
- that hydraulic fracturing could compromise the sherwood sandstone aquifer which runs down the centre of Nottinghamshire, providing a large part of our drinking water;
- that because of past coal mining, the area around Ollerton is already the ‘earthquake capital of the UK’;
- hydraulic fracturing requires disposal of large quantities of waste water contaminated with heavy metals and radioactive materials from the shale layers;
- the increased risk of venting methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas, and carcinogenic gases such as benzene and toluene.
If you live in the county, not the city, please write to your County Councillor to ask the Council to include a policy in the Minerals Plan to protect us from unconventional hydrocarbons including fracking for shale gas, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification.
Some of the key issues to raise include:
- Horizontal drilling for perhaps 2km underground requires the site boundary to be defined in 3-D;
- Hydraulic fracturing risks triggering seismic activity, particularly in areas of former coalmining;
- The EU Water Framework Directive requires a precautionary approach to protect groundwater;
- Hydraulic fracturing increases the risk of venting of methane and carcinogenic gases during and after operation. This is a potential risk for greenhouse gas emission and for public health.
Before going to the full Council on 26 November the Minerals Plan will be discussed by the Environment & Sustainability Committee – date not yet fixed but before 19 November.