Five years of Shale Gas: Public Health Impacts

The evidence is now clear

Five years ago, American Journal of Public Health  published an article discussing
the potential harm to the environment and human health from horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing of shale. At that time the USA were importing oil and gas to meet their demands but the price at pump was high so the pressure to explore locally.

Since 2011, there has been not only a surge in drilling for natural gas and oil in the United
States (e.g., California, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania,
Texas) and in other countries (e.g., Australia), but also a huge increase in the number of published studies focused on environmental and public health impacts associated
with UGD (unconventional gas development).

After five years, the same journal published an update stating that the evidence is clear of the harmful effects on human health and environment from UGD and advises focusing on policies.

We again stress the importance, indeed urgency, to focus on fair and sensible energy
policies, and to be mindful of the implications that such policies have on our environment and on population health. Ignoring the body of evidence, to us, is not viable option anymore.

Read the entire article here.

Advertisements

“DIRECT RISKS TO HEALTH” – MEDACT REPORT

Medact is a medical charity based in London that educates, analyses and campaigns for global health on issues related to conflict, poverty and the environment.

On 7th of July Medact released a an updated assessment of the potential health impacts of  unconventional shale gas production in England.

This new report updates the review from 2015 with the latest evidence from more than 350 academic papers on the impacts of high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) for shale gas on air and water quality, health, climate change, social well being, economics, noise and light pollution, and seismic events.

Please share this.

Links:

Read the summary.

Download the full report.

 

Rally outside Stormont on Monday

Woodburn 220516Debate on Permitted Development

On Monday 6th at Stormont there will be a Northern Assembly debate on the drilling in Woodburn Forest.

Rally in front of Parliament Buildings 5.45 pm for show of solidarity with the Stop the Drill campaign and photo opportunity. The debate itself is scheduled to start between 6 and 8pm.  The debate can be viewed from the public gallery.

This is an opportunity for the anti-fracking campaign to show the strength of its opposition to the drilling in Carrickfergus and any future plans for extraction of oil or gas throughout the licence area. Legislation must be put in place to stop this industry. We need as many people as possible to support this campaign. Come and join our peaceful rally!

Drilling in Antrim – a Disaster!

Fracking now a distinct possibility

The oil and gas industry now have a foothold in Northern Ireland – Infrastrata has come in under the shelter of “permitted development”, which they obtained by default, and is drilling an exploratory well that could be later used for fracking in Woodburn Forest, near Carrickfergus.  They are drilling down over 6,000 feet (2 km) to look for oil or gas reserves in sandstone or shale rock underground and have already gone through the local aquifer.  The well is directional (extending horizontally as well as vertically) and its dimensions are similar to natural gas production wells in US.  The drill has operated day and night since last week and is descending into the earth at a rate of 1,000 feet per day.

‘Permitted Development’ – permission to operate without EIA
Woodburn 220516

Woodburn Drill on Sunday 22nd May 2016

“Serious failures in governance could allow Infrastrata to acquire oil and gas extraction rights over 200 sq miles in Northern Ireland. We are only days away from the company potentially securing extraction rights for all petroleum in the Larne-Lough Neagh Basin,” said Eddie Mitchell from GEAI.

“We were shocked to see the drilling site on Sunday,” said Aedín McLoughlin.  “High fences, razor wire, security with dogs, enormous police presence – this is a military-style operation.  The drilling rig is enormous and it is clear that this is far from being a simple exploratory drill.”

“The campaign against fracking is now five years old and has very successfully prevented drilling in Leitrim and Fermanagh and also caused the stalling of the EPA study on fracking being led by industry players.   In our wildest dreams we could not imagine that the industry could come on site without planning permission or Environmental Impact Assessment.  But they have.”

This project is truly bizarre – the drilling site, which is owned by NI Water, was leased to this mining company although only 400 metres from a water reservoir feeding 130,000 people (why?).  Also, to facilitate the drilling operation, the local Woodburn River has been diverted by NI Water without reference to the Habitats Directive.  It would appear that there are systemic failures in the areas of planning and regulation in Northern Ireland.”

A Dangerous Project

“This drill must be stopped now! If the first introduction of drilling shows such disregard for planning and EU regulations, what would happen if this company hit oil or gas reserves and were then granted full petroleum rights in this area?  Thousands of wells, horrendous water and air pollution, disruption of local communities and huge damage to roads and other infrastructure.  This could be the situation even if fracking was not needed to extract the oil or gas. And if the company wanted to frack, threats of enormous compensation claims could force that permission” Aedín claimed.  “Only this week, a North Yorkshire Council gave permission to frack a well that is two miles deep and was drilled some time ago.  This drilling project in Antrim is too dangerous.  It could lead to massive exploitation of the area by the oil and gas industry and to fracking, with all its attendant well-documented impacts on the environment and on human health.“

FG TD introduces Ban on Fracking Bill

Tony McLoughlin TD has begun process of developing new legislation

11169407_399929890204803_4742650247145535238_oIn response to the “very worrying developments occurring in Northern Ireland with regard to fracking”, Tony McLoughlin is to submit a Private Members Bill to the Dáil which seeks to prohibit onshore fracking.

Press Release

Fine Gael T.D. for Sligo – Leitrim Tony McLoughlin has begun the process of developing new legislation which he hopes will result in the prohibiting of the exploration and extraction of petroleum from shale rock, tight sands and coal seams in the Irish onshore and Ireland’s internal waters.

“As a T.D. for counties which would be decimated if fracking was allowed to occur, I want to see action on this issue by the new Government” stated McLoughlin.

“The decision process with relation to formulating Government policy on fracking has gone on too long in my opinion and we now are in a position where we need to take action on the issue”.

“There is clear evidence already in the public domain about the damaging effects of this practice of extraction”. “We are also aware that the basin in Ireland is too shallow for it to be conducted safely and without damage to the environment”.

“Several Common Law Jurisdictions, similar to our own, have already taken legislative steps to ban the practice”. “I now want Ireland and this Government to follow this international trend and quickly”.

“There are some very worrying developments occurring in Northern Ireland with regard to fracking, which both Sinn Féin or the DUP have not been able to prevent”. “I do not want to see a similar situation occur in this State”.

“With regard to the Private Members Bill I am submitting, I have received technical advice as to the wording of this Bill from experts in the field, which will hopefully enable it to pass through the pre-legislative scrutiny element very quickly”.

“I have also wrote to the new Minister for Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Denis Naughton T.D. to suggest to him to consider implementing this legislation which would prohibiting fracking from occurring in the Republic of Ireland.”

COPYRIGHT

® All rights reserved to GEAI. 2014