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Jul152013

Hydraulic Fracturing Speech

At a recent full Councillors meeting I presented my thoughts on Hydraulic Fracturing and the following is a copy of my speech:

I am delighted to support the motion before Council today, this is vitally important issue for the City of Bath and the whole of the Council area. I have researched the issue with my Professional Body the CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH who last year produced a policy paper "Hydraulic Fracturing: Impacts on the Environment and Human Health". Whilst the CIEH recognise the considerable economic benefits that are possible from shale gas they conclude, and I will quote:

There are a number of potential impacts that fracturing could have on human health and these include:

  1. Impacts on drinking water supplies
  2. Impacts on air quality and consequent respiratory disorders
  3. Geological impacts which it qualifies as seismic activity
  4. Noise impacts
  5. Release of naturally occurring radioactive materials and
  6. Impacts on communities which in turn could impact on individuals

The Chartered institute in their well researched policy position describe many examples of these health and environmental health impacts principally for the US where fracking has been used for some years in the extraction of shale gas.

They recommend the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE as the overriding principle for the UK at the moment. They also recommend independent research in bridging the evidence deficit. 

I therefore support this motion and hope this is something we can all support in protecting our residents and our world heritage City.

Geoff Ward

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