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Natural Gas: Exploration

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of William Bain William Bain Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent advice he has received on the effect of hydraulic fracturing in the production of shale gas on levels of water pollution.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The UK has a long history of onshore gas exploration, the technology—including hydraulic fracturing—is understood and there is a strong regulatory safety and environmental regime in place administered by the Health and Safety Executive, local authorities and the respective environmental agencies to ensure that potential risks to safety or the environment are properly managed.

In relation to the current shale gas drilling operations I understand that the Environment Agency does not consider that these pose a risk to the environment—including to water resources.

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