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Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 10th September 2015.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 9:30 am, 10th September 2015

In the infrastructure debate, the Government promised they would safeguard our groundwater and sites of special scientific interest from the dangers of fracking. These promises have now been abandoned. The Government now permit fracking in SSSIs, and four out of five of the old water protection zones are no longer frack-free under the new water protection areas. Was the Secretary of State consulted by her Cabinet colleagues about this U-turn on fracking in protected areas, and if so, why did she agree to downgrade these important protections?