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Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 10th September 2013.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what safety assessment has been conducted on the effect on drinking water supplies of a tanker carrying fracking chemicals to a pad being used for the extraction of natural gas using hydraulic fracturing of gases crashing en route and releasing the toxic contents into the water supplies.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

On 31 July this year the Environment Agency released its environmental risk assessment of shale gas exploration. This assesses the risk of contamination of groundwater and the measures needed to address that risk. The Environment Agency has also set out what it expects to see from operators, before it will allow any exploration for oil or gas, in its draft technical guidance for onshore oil and gas exploratory operations, which is out for consultation until 23 October.

Movement of any chemicals, including those used in hydraulic fracturing, need to be considered under the UN Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals to determine whether they are classified as dangerous goods for the purpose of transport. If they are deemed to be so, they will be subject to the requirement for safe transport by road as laid down in the European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR), which is strictly policed.

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