The crux of the arguments about fracking is whether it can contaminate our drinking waterWhether from escaping gas or the chemicals used in fluids in order to get the gas out the industry, Government and its various compliant regulators repeatedly claim - despite much evidence to the contrary - that as they plan to frack hundreds or thousands of metres below where our drinking water flows (in rock formations known as aquifers) there is no or little risk of contamination.
In the Forest of Dean, in South Wales, north Somerset and West Wiltshire, our principal aquifer, carboniferous limestone, is either on the surface, making up hills, or within a few hundred metres underground. Fracking - necessary for getting out shale gas - can only take place a minimum of 1000/1200m underground, according to Government regulations.
Yet licence applications obtained by us and Wiltshire campaigners through Freedom of Information requests show South Western Energy has been given licences in the Forest of Dean, SW Herefordshire, North Somerset and West Wiltshire in order to explore for gas WITHIN our shared carboniferous limestone aquifers, which are much less than 1000m down.
If you look closely at the Government regulations, fracking is defined as only if more than 10,000 cubic metres of fluid (water, sand and chemicals) is used. Therefore it really does appear as if the Government/ SW Energy is planning to exploit this loophole, and open the door to gas extraction from the SAME LAYER WHERE OUR DRINKING WATER COMES FROM!
This is despite SW Energy informing us in our meeting that they would case off (seal with concrete) the borehole as it passes aquifers.
Either they have changed their mind since making the licences applications - in which case the licences should be null and void - or they are not telling us the truth.Which is it?
For the latest NEWS on Fracking go to:
Frack Free Somerset
Fracking in Wiltshire and Somerset.
Licenses awarded to find oil and gas.
The Government’s position -
- No permission needed for exploration.
- Westbury Fracking Fields 84, 85, 94, 95