Scottish Government effectively bans fracking!
The Scottish Government public consultation ended on 31st May 2017 and on October 3rd, after reviewing the results of the consultation, they announced an effective ban!
There is a chance that a future Scottish Government could overturn this decision therefore we support calls for the Scottish Government to take the final step and pass a law banning fracking, when the powers over onshore oil and gas licensing are devolved to the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 2016. The decision of the Scottish Government will go to a vote in Parliament at some point after 23 October. Friends of the Earth Scotland have produced an e-action to MSPs thanking for efforts so far and calling on them to push the Government to go further and commit to passing a law banning fracking.
Please sign and share: https://act.foe.scot/put-
No risky gas in Falkirk (or anywhere)
In August 2012 Dart Energy submitted a planning application to Falkirk and Stirling Councils to build 14 new well pads with 22 new coalbed methane (CBM) wells, pipelines to connect the sites, a gas processing and water treatment facility and a waste outfall into the Firth of Forth. The planned site covers a large area between Larbert and Airth with drilling planned 20m from some homes and directly beneath many more. Both councils rejected the planning application, and Dart Energy appealed to the Scottish Government resulting in a Public Inquiry which took place in March 2014 - the UK's first public inquiry into unconventional gas plans. In October 2014, as we awaited the DPEA Reporters' decision, which was expected imminently, Scottish Ministers decided to recall the Dart Energy appeal for their own determination.
An official moratorium on unconventional oil and gas extraction was declared by the Scottish Government in January 2015, and the outcome of the Public Inquiry is not yet known. If the moratorium is lifted, the planning application could potentially be approved, and this concerns us.
If the planning permission is granted, this will be the UK’s first commercial production of unconventional gas from coalbed methane. This process has devastated communities elsewhere in the world. The Environmental Statement for this planning application states that "the current proposal is for the initial stage of the Full Field Development" indicating that this is the start of plans to develop a large gas field with possibly more than 100 wells in Falkirk local authority alone.
As part of the Scottish Government's moratorium research, a public consultation was carried out - see above.
The processes are new and there's powerful evidence from similar operations elsewhere that they entail significant health and environmental risks, which the proposal has overlooked, including the potential for long-term contamination of our air, farmland, watercourses and ecosystems, and other adverse impacts on our property prices, local economy, and general quality-of-life in the area.
In response to this evidence, Bans and Moratoriums on gas extraction are being imposed around the world, for example in New South Wales, Australia, where a new law was recently imposed, banning CBM (also called CSG) activity anywhere within 2km of residences and business clusters.
In his witness precognition statement, David K. Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow, concluded that the planned development "poses a threat to groundwater resources over the entire area of the [Proposed Development Area], and there is the additional risk that fugitive methane may even reach the surface", and in his view, "the development should be refused".
Concerned Communities of Falkirk is a group of residents from various communities throughout the Falkirk area who have come together because of their concerns over this important and controversial planning application. We have created a Community Mandate demanding an overhaul of local and national policy and a re-assessment of Dart Energy’s application. More than 2500 of these Mandates have now been signed by local residents and submitted to Falkirk Council and/or the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA). Learn more about our Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas (FAUG) campaign.
Concerned Communties of Falkirk is a member of the Broad Alliance - a coalition of Scottish communities opposed to onshore and near-shore unconventional oil and gas development.