GPS Calls For Fracking Pipework Legislation

13 July 2015

GPS is urging the Government to look at legislating the pipework used in fracking as a positive step to help protect against pollution

Despite the latest setback to the development of the UK fracking industry, following Lancashire Council’s rejection of Cuadrilla’s application at the end of June, the Government has again outlined its commitment to developing the shale gas industry within the Emergency Budget.

If the Government is determined to go ahead with the controversial activity, it really needs to look at the legislation surrounding fracking. The Government is clearly not wavering in its commitment to developing the UK’s shale gas industry, yet it isn’t looking at simple legislation that could limit the pollution risk to the environment and public, alleviating the fears of many opposed to the activity.

Wastewater produced during the fracking process can contain a mixture of hazardous chemicals and naturally occurring radioactive minerals and so regulation requires the operator to dispose of the fluid safely. An agreed waste management plan must be in place to deal with the wastewater either by on-site treatment or removal off-site to a waste treatment plant. However, the wastewater still needs transporting to a treatment facility, and, by regulating the pipework that transfers the effluent, the threat of any harmful substances leaking into the ground and potentially contaminating groundwater is significantly reduced.

If fracking is to become a reality in the UK, as expected, safeguards need to be put in place with wide support from the whole supply chain working together to develop solutions which will restore confidence in the public, protect the environment and ensure its longevity as a viable option for generating new energy sources.  

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