The Kent Green Party has welcomed the Environment Agency’s objections to planning applications for exploratory drilling for shale and coal bed methane gas at Guston, Tilmanstone and Shepherdswell, which could lead to the use of fracking techniques in East Kent.The applications submitted by Coastal and Oil and Gas Ltd were due to be decided by Kent County Council in December but, following the intervention of the Environment Agency, it is extremely unlikely that decisions will be made until 2014.
The Environment Agency’s objections focus on the possibility that drilling operations may pollute the chalk aquifers which provide drinking water for thousands of homes in Kent (1). Despite warning Coastal Oil and Gas of their concerns during pre-application discussions, the Environment Agency has criticised the company for failing to explain what steps it will take to eliminate the risk of water pollution.Thanet Green Party Councillor and anti-fracking campaigner, Ian Driver, said: “Ever since these applications were submitted we have warned about the danger to the water supply. The Environment Agency’s objections support our concerns and demonstrate that exploratory drilling for shale and coal bed methane gas is incredibly dangerous and should not be allowed.”
Ashford Green Parliamentary Candidate, Mandy Rossi, said: “Many Ashford residents have water piped from the aquifers of East Kent and I will be objecting to KCC about these applications. There is no safe way of exploring for, or extracting coal or shale bed methane gas. The risks to water supplies and the environment are simply too high.”The Green Party is the only party to oppose the exploration and extraction of coal and shale bed methane gas and the associated use of fracking techniques to aid extraction.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Ian Driver, Tel: 07866 588766
Promoted by Stuart Jeffery for Kent Green Party, 82 Buckland Road, Maidstone ME16 0SD
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1. Link to EA letters of objection