Barbara has welcomed a number of amendments proposed by Labour to introduce more public protection against fracking operations.

The amendments have been introduced to the Infrastructure Bill by Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister. The amendments would prevent fracking activity at unsuitable sites and ensure compensation is offered to residents who live near other shale gas sites.

The amendments would widen the restrictions on shale gas extraction in groundwater protection zones to protect local water sources. They would also place a duty on shale gas operators to notify residents individually of activity, rather than publishing a generic public notice. The Government would also be required to pass additional regulations to ensure that communities are compensated if they live near shale gas sites.

Barbara said:

“I am glad that Labour shadow Ministers have moved an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to protect sources of drinking water from fracking for shale gas. I had very grave concerns that exploration for shale gas at Barton Moss could damage the precious environment at nearby Chat Moss, which the Environment Agency has designated as a groundwater source protection zone.

I fully support Labour’s amendment which would prohibit shale gas extraction in the Chat Moss area. I have never accepted that Barton Moss is a suitable site for shale gas exploration or exploitation.”

“Labour shadow Ministers have also moved amendments to ensure that shale gas companies are required to pay compensation to local communities affected by their operations. I know that individuals and businesses near the Barton Moss site suffered financial loss during the exploratory drilling there and I believe this amendment is essential.”

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