Crawley land could be used for fracking
Land in Crawley could be used for shale gas exploration after the Government lifted its ban on the controversial fracking process.
Around 15 licences have been issued in Sussex by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for companies to explore the county’s shale gas reserves, spanning thousands of acres of countryside, which includes land in and around Crawley.
Anti-fracking campaign group Frack Off released a map on its website highlighting the areas where licences have been granted in Sussex.
But before companies can start exploration, planning permission from West Sussex County Council must be sought for a particular site. If the company then decides to proceed it must seek further permission from the council and the Environment Agency.
Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - is a drilling process which breaks up shale that contains natural gas deposits. It uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to release the gas trapped in the shale. A ban was imposed on the process after two earthquakes measuring 2.3 and 1.5 on the Richter Scale were felt in the vicinity of one drill site in Lancashire. But on December 13 the government announced it would lift the ban after the DECC released a report into fracking which concluded that subject to strict controls fracking can be undertaken safely. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said shale gas represented a potential new energy resource for the UK.
Vanessa Vine from campaign group Frack Free Sussex (FFS) said: “The threat is not only to our seismic security, but puts in jeopardy our wild ecology, our farmland and thereby our health, through industrialisation of our landscape and resultant contamination of soil, air and groundwater.
“It beggars belief that our legislators appear set to allow hydraulic fracturing to be carried out.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
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