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Proposed (P6): “This work package should examine potential environmental impacts of UGEE on groundwater and other water bodies, including methane and chemical and other contaminant migration, both from surface as well as subsurface potential sources. Findings should be informed by an objective assessment of the risks and hazards posed by UGEE, supported by a literature review and experience from other jurisdictions…”
Too narrow. The above statement refers to the hydraulic fracturing stage of operations and does not encompass the impact on the environment of the life cycle of UGEE. This is a critical flaw throughout the whole proposal for research. Research Area number 3, which refers to “Life Cycle Assessment” actually describes a carbon emission impact analysis.
Many international studies have focussed on hydraulic fracturing to the exclusion of the other stages of UGEE. This has been recently criticised by Professsor Ingraffea, a renowned opponent of and expert on fracking. “People don’t think of everything that happens before and after (hydraulic fracturing). That’s much more risky to human health and the environment. # The proposed Terms of Reference make the same mistake.
Possible discussion points
Widen the scope of the Terms of Reference in this section to include the whole life cycle of UGEE.
Change the title of research area 3 to “Carbon Emission assessment”.
Research area 4: Remove reference to chemical-free UGEE. This is not credible and not supported by any independent study.
The topic of “Best practice in self-regulation” should be deleted.