Government responds to consultation on Surface Development Restrictions for Hydraulic Fracturing

01Jul / 2016

Government responds to consultation on Surface Development Restrictions for Hydraulic Fracturing

This week the government published a response to the consultation held by the Department of Energy and Climate Change at the end of 2015 on Surface Development Restrictions for Hydraulic Fracturing.

Published by Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, the response made clear the Government’s commitment to safe shale development that is environmentally sound and regulated.

Govt Resp to Con - June 2016Click image for full report

In answer to concerns over protecting areas of natural and scientific interest, the response stated that UK planning systems provide sufficient protection to ensure that development takes place only at appropriate locations. In addition, it highlights shale development’s potential significant impact on UK goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions alongside the development of renewables.

The response reiterates that there is no international evidence that hydraulic fracturing, when properly regulated, should cause contamination of water supplies or other environmental damage. The UK has been successfully regulating gas and oil drilling for over 50 years, which has resulted in robust regulations pertaining to on-site safety, protection of water supplies and mitigation against seismic activity. The surface development restrictions for hydraulic fracturing are designed to enhance this existing regulatory regime and to reassure the public that our most sensitive areas will be adequately protected.

Andrea LeadsomAndrea Leadsom, Energy Minister

Andrea Leadsom commented:

‘The UK has one of the best track records in the world when it comes to protecting our environment while developing our industries.

‘We have the right protections in place to ensure that fracking can go ahead safely without risk to our most beautiful and important natural sites. People should have confidence in these protections and in this vital industry which could create over 60,000 jobs and be worth billions of pounds to our economy – that is why we are providing further reassurance for our most valued areas.’


Read the full report here.

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