To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect on the local environment of fracking.
The Environment Agency (EA) has carried out an assessment of the environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing and the measures that are needed to ensure that the local environment is protected. Based on this, the EA has developed and published detailed guidance setting out the conditions that fracking operations must meet.
Businesses proposing to explore for oil and gas using hydraulic fracturing require environmental permits from the EA, which are subject to a detailed site specific assessment. The permits set legally binding conditions on the activities and how they are carried out to protect the local environment. They include requirements to monitor groundwater, surface water and air quality before, during and after operations.