PUBLIC consultation will play a key role in future applications for ‘fracking’ in Croydon and Orpington – and major development projects like Heathrow – after MEPs today voted to revise EU legislation on environmental impact assessments (EIAs).
The Greens strongly welcomed provisions to make EIAs compulsory for non-conventional fossil fuel projects, notably shale gas extraction and exploration involving fracking.
Commenting on the vote, London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert said:
“MEPs have today voted to ensure that all shale gas extraction projects and shale gas exploration involving the controversial fracking process – including those proposed in Croydon and Orpington – are subject to compulsory environmental impact assessments.
“While this would not prevent permits from being granted, it would ensure a basic standard of assessment and public participation. This will help prevent risky shale gas projects being bulldozed through in spite of environmental concerns and public will.
“While the Greens believe there is already sufficient evidence to ban this risky technology, particularly in sensitive areas, there is a need to ensure that environmental and liability rules are applied and vigorously enforced at the very least. Today’s vote is a first step in this direction.”
She added: “The UK Tories have made clear that ‘over-riding economic concerns’ will trump public opinion and environmental protection when major planning decisions are made. I am delighted that MEPs have firmly rejected that view and will pursue that position in the forthcoming negotiations with national governments.”