Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th September 2013.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) the environment, (b) house prices and (c) the quality of life of fracking.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering's report “Shale Gas Extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing”, published in June 2012, concluded that environmental (and health and safety) risks associated with hydraulic fracturing could be managed effectively in the UK “as long as operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation”.

The Government is currently reviewing the impacts of energy infrastructure, including shale gas extraction, on the environment and the rural economy. This includes effects on air quality, biodiversity, greenhouse gases, health, land use, local environment quality, waste and water. As part of the review, DEFRA has commissioned research comparing the effects which different types of energy infrastructure may have on house prices. It is expected that the results of this analysis will be published later this year.

The impact on quality of life is considered as part of the local planning process.

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