Fracking slammed as ‘a threat to human health’

Environmentalists have raised fears over how drilling for gas and oil will hit food, water and air quality in the region.
Exploratory drilling for frackingExploratory drilling for fracking
Exploratory drilling for fracking

Firms can now apply for fracking licences in a square-shaped zone newly identified by the government which blankets Buckingham, Winslow, Bicester, Towcester, Brackley and surrounding villages.

The zone stretches from Lower Heyford in the west to Swanbourne in the east and from Lillingstone Lovell in the north down to Long Crendon in the south.

Fracking involves plunging deep into the earth to fire a high-pressure chemical mix of water at shale rock to release gas but Friends of the Earth has blasted the decision to put licences up for grabs.

DECC map with areas opened for fracking licencesDECC map with areas opened for fracking licences
DECC map with areas opened for fracking licences

Ken Barry of South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth - which also covers Aylesbury Vale - said: “Waste fluids are a threat to human health and will have a impact on the water we drink, the foods we eat and the air we breathe.

“This is obviously very bad news for the people of Aylesbury Vale and for all who value the beautiful landscape of the areas earmarked for this destructive process.

“Instead of drilling thousands of wells across the countryside and putting our health at risk, the government should be doubling its efforts to cut down the amount of energy we actually use and increase production from truly green sources.

“Wind turbines and solar farms may seem unsightly to some but their impact is nothing compared to the devastation that will be caused by fracking.

People should do everything in their power to stop this from happening.”

Fracking has revolutionised the energy industry in the USA but does bring environmental concerns which have been widely documented.

After obtaining a licence, a drilling application will then require planning permission, as well as permits from the Environment Agency and sign-off from the Health and Safety Executive.