Water professionals urge caution over shale gas, Position paper is the latest in a series of industry reports warning of need for robust monitoring and regulation of shale gas projects by BusinessGreen, October 31, 2012
Proposed shale gas projects in the UK should face mandatory environmental risk assessments, according to a water industry body that has become the latest organisation to warn the government it must tread carefully in developing the controversial energy source. In the UK, there is currently a moratorium on the process used to extract the gas, known as fracking, until more is known about its potential impacts, which campaigners say extend to earth tremors, landscape degradation, water contamination, and the release of methane emissions.
A position paper by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), published today, again raises these concerns and warns shale gas should not form part of the UK’s energy mix until there is sufficient evidence that projects can be delivered safely and without causing unacceptable levels of environmental damage. The paper calls for robust regulation to minimise the risks and argues mandatory environmental assessments should be required for all new projects to ensure each site is individually evaluated, with the likelihood of specific impacts and their cumulative effects taken into account.