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Shale gas projects are absent in EU’s updated EIA

On March 12, 2014, the European Parliament (EU) supported a proposed update to make environmental impact assessments (EIAs) clearer, to ensure that EIAs take into account biodiversity and climate change, and to involve the public via a central web portal. Approximately 200 types of projects are covered in the directive, including bridges, ports, roadways, and … Continue reading

European Commission issues recommendation for hydraulic fracturing

On January 22, 2014, the European Commission adopted a Recommendation on the “minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing.” The Commission “invites” the 28-member states of the European Union “to apply the principles” so that hydraulic fracturing is done safely and without confusion over different … Continue reading

Spain amends environmental rules to encourage energy development

On December 11, 2013, the Spanish government amended its environmental rules to address the development of shale resources and to limit the environmental review process to six months. Spain’s review process often took three, four or five years to complete a final environmental impact statement. With the shortening of the review process period to six … Continue reading

Public Health England releases draft study of health impacts from shale gas extraction

Public Health England (PHE) is an agency under the UK’s Department of Health tasked with ensuring that the public is protected from infectious disease and environmental hazards. In October 2013, PHE released for public comment its draft Review of the potential public health impacts of exposures to chemical and radioactive pollutants as a result of … Continue reading

The European Parliament seeks to restrict hydraulic fracturing while France’s Constitutional Council upholds hydraulic fracturing ban

On October 9, 2013, the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg, France, voted (with 328 for and 311 against) to tighten rules on hydraulic fracturing by requiring a full environmental impact assessment from oil and gas companies seeking permits to use the process. An assessment would even be required for exploratory drilling. Another round of voting … Continue reading

Spain Bans Hydraulic Fracturing in Cantabria Region

Earlier today, in an unanimous vote and supported by a strong social movement, lawmakers in Spain’s northern Cantabria region voted to ban hydraulic fracturing on environmental concerns about risks to drinking water. A coalition of Spain’s three parties led by the majority ruling People’s Party joined forces to pass the ban. While the People’s Party … Continue reading

Germany drafts hydraulic fracturing regulations

On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, the German government proposed new regulations concerning the recovery of hydrocarbons through hydraulic fracturing. These new regulations come at a point when several European governments have imposed a ban on hydraulic fracturing. The proposed regulations would outlaw fracking in areas where there are water reserves and mineral springs and in … Continue reading

U.K. Lifts Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

On December 13, 2012, Edward Davey, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced that hydraulic fracturing could resume in the U.K., subject to new controls to mitigate the risks of seismic activity. This follows the European Parliament’s rejection of a Europe-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing on November 21, 2012. In the … Continue reading

European Parliament Calls for Shale Regulation, Rejects Ban

On November 21, 2012, the European Parliament comprised of 754 representatives from the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) approved two resolutions relating to shale oil and gas development based on reports from its Environmental, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and its Industry, Research and Energy Committee, both of which studied shale … Continue reading

Injection Wells and Their Possible Link to Seismic Activity

The use of injection wells, a preferred method for disposal of various fluids such as wastewater or brine (salt water), is a popular topic in the news media lately due to a suspected link between use of these wells and earthquakes. Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, the United Kingdom, and most recently Youngstown, Ohio and central West … Continue reading
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