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Fracking concerns as drilling licences are issued for sites around York, North and East Yorkshire
AN MP has spoken of her worries about fracking after it emerged that several drilling licences have already been issued for sites in her constituency near York.
Gas companies have been awarded licences by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to explore for shale gas in several areas of North and East Yorkshire.
They include sites between Easingwold and the western edge of York, to the north, north-east and north-west of Malton, in the Pickering area, between Scarborough and Helmsley, and to the south-west of Pocklington.
The locations have been revealed by Greenpeace as the Government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, steps up attempts to persuade people to accept fracking, claiming it is essential to Britain’s future.
Greenpeace has warned that protests are inevitable, and claimed that MPs would “pay a price at the polling booth” if they backed drilling in their own constituencies.
Anne McIntosh, Tory MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, who chairs the Commons environment select committee, said she was aware of the potential for shale gas locally and also of the “lack of knowledge of the process of fracking and the impact on the environment.”
She said she intended to raise concerns when the House of Commons returned in September.
“The main concern is of the disruption caused to the local community and the possible impact on house prices as well as the quality of life,” she said.
“People living near any potential site will be concerned about possible subsidence and other adverse consequences.
“These issues must be fully aired and discussed before any fracking exploration or licences are issued to allay any concerns of local communities.”
Communities where wells are dug have been promised £100,000 compensation, plus one per cent of the profits – which could run to several million pounds.
The controversial new technology involves blasting underground rock deposits with water, to release trapped pockets of gas.
Critics claim it could cause groundwater contamination and toxic air around sites.
Any application will have to pass normal planning and regulatory tests, before final approval is given by the department, officials say.
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