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Frome campaigners raise fracking concerns

FOLLOWING the announcement that areas near Frome could be targeted by fracking companies, local residents and campaigners have raised concerns about the plans.

Frome Times revealed last month that the Government has proposed to allow gas and oil exploration as nearby as Berkley  and Standerwick.

Local residents and protest group Frack Free Somerset have since written in to protest against the possibility of fracking in the area.

An official comment from county campaigners  Frack Free Somerset said, “We are strongly opposed to the  14th Unconventional Gas and Oil Licensing Round. This new bonanza sees around 1,000 square miles of England licensed to fracking companies, and here in Somerset and neighbouring Wiltshire, up to 121 parishes potentially affected by the new licence blocks.

“Previously these Petroleum Exploration Development Licences (PEDLs) targeted the Mendip Hills, but a strong campaign from local groups working in collaboration with Frack Free Somerset, demonstrated that there was no social licence for fracking in these areas, and the PEDLs were relinquished.

“However, the new licensing round now targets a substantial area along the Somerset coastline, including Weston-Super-Mare and Hinkley Point, as well as an area to the east of Frome, including the towns of Warminster and Trowbridge.

“With a stream of peer-reviewed scientific evidence from the US and Australia, where fracking companies have been active for some time, Frack Free Somerset is deeply concerned about the air pollution, water contamination, toxic and radioactive waste and health effects that affect the communities in which unconventional gas and oil extraction has been imposed.

“Members of Frack Free Somerset stand in solidarity with all communities affected by fracking, and will be working in close collaboration with people across the county, as well as members of Keep Wiltshire Frack Free, who are now mobilizing in response to the new threat.”

One local man Howard Norris said, “The clear dangers that fracking poses to the local environment and populace has been proven, and I for one will not sit back and allow this to happen. I feel so strongly about this issue, if protest and objections aren’t successful I will simply have to up and leave Frome, which has been a much loved home for my family for the past ten years.”

If the licences are granted and energy companies find underground fuel reserves, they could then seek permission to extract the fuels for up to 20 years.

Since fracking became popular in the USA and Australia it has gained  fierce opposition as a result of fears about pollution, health risks and property values falling.

To find out more about fracking, or to join the Frack Free Somerset campaign go to www.frackfreesomerset.org

 

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