Friday, 20 November 2015

Health impact of fracking prompts call for review

Concerns about the potential health effects of fracking on communities have prompted Plaid Cymru shadow minister for the environment Llyr Gruffydd to call for further research into the matter.

He’s now written to the Welsh health minister asking for more information on the matter and calling for a review of existing scientific evidence.

Mr Gruffydd said:

“Many communities in Wales face the threat of fracking and drilling for unconventional gas. There is a large body of scientific evidence from around the world pointing to the health impacts of such drilling on local communities and I want the Welsh Government to examine that, especially in the light of decisions by countries across Europe and states such as New York to ban fracking.”
Mr Gruffydd’s stance has been backed by Wrexham Plaid Cymru Councillor and prominent anti-fracking campaigner Arfon Jones.

Councillor Arfon Jones, who also chairs the Wrexham Community Health Council, said: 

"The Welsh Government claims it has introduced a moratorium on fracking but the reality is even the Minister can’t guarantee he will block an application for fracking. We now need to move the debate forward to examine the vast amount of peer-reviewed literature that is available on the health effects of fracking and Public Health Wales are the best fit for carrying out the work. The last time anything like this was done was the discredited Public Health England report which was heavily influenced by the industry and dismissed health concerns.  “I believe that the Minister for Natural Resources, together with his Health colleague, needs to make a decision sooner rather than later on this important matter. I'm convinced that any literature review will reach the same conclusion as the New York State reports which concluded that there were, 'significant uncertainty of the level of risk to public health.'  “The Minister would then have sufficient evidence to make an informed decision on the future of Unconventional Gas exploration in Wales.”

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