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Fears over environmental impact of fracking leads to EU intervention
3:46pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
COMMUNITIES living near potential fracking sites have had their concerns heard in the European parliament today.
Members voting in Strasbourg ruled that in future, shale gas developers should carry out a 'full environmental impact assessment before any fracking takes place'.
However, Euro MEP Chris Davies said the Parliament had 'struck a balance' by saying drilling for soil and rock samples would not have to meet the standard.
Mr Davies, the Lib Dem representative for the North West, says he helped negotiate the compromise and its purpose was to 'reassure residents close to potential shale gas operations.'
In a statement, Mr Davies said: “Gas is less damaging to the environment than coal when burned and we are going to be using it for many decades to come.
"As offshore supplies run out, I would rather that Britain uses gas from deep beneath its soil than import it, potentially from Russia.
“It is important that communities sitting on shale gas see the economic benefits of extraction but it is essential that drilling is safe and well regulated.
“I have made very clear that I support the principle of shale gas development, but only subject to safeguards being in place to ensure that there is no harm to the environment."
Negotiations between MEPs and representatives of EU governments will now take place to determine the final shape of the new environmental assessment law.
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