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Labour looking to secure fracking ban near drinking water aquifers

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Labour are hoping to ban fracking on land near to drinking water aquifers.

On Tuesday 13th January, an amendment to the Infrasctructure Bill which would prohibit shale gas extraction in groundwater protection zones is to be debated in the House of Commons.

Shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said: “Shale gas extraction can only go ahead if we have a system of robust regulation and comprehensive inspection.

“Despite clear flaws in the existing framework, David Cameron’s government have repeatedly side-lined genuine and legitimate environmental concern and seem prepared to accept shale gas at any cost.”

He added that the “Tory government simply doesn’t want to listen to public concern”.

Labour also tabled some amendments which would include shale gas operators to be required to identify their individual residents of activity rather than publishing generic notices, and for the government to pass additional regulations governing the payment of community benefit.

These proposed amendments follow 11 amendments to the Infrastructure Bill, which were tabled in December and will also be debated on Tuesday, seeking to “tighten regulations on shale gas” and to make all the water companies statutory consultees in the planning process.

A spokesperson from The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said: “Robust regulations are already in place to ensure on-site safety, prevent water contamination and mitigate seismic activity and air pollution.”

They also said that “shale exploitation must be done in a safe and environmentally sound way”.

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