Letter: Study into fracking has failed to investigate water contamination

I WAS concerned to read that a new study has given the green light, with guidelines, for extending fracking (hydraulic fracturing of rock to get gas out).

The study admits that fracking causes earthquakes/tremors, such as the one that happened near Blackpool in Lancashire, but said it’s an acceptable risk!

The gas has been found in Sussex. Unfortunately, this study had no brief to look at water contamination from the chemicals used in fracking, such as benzene, so they didn’t even look into chemical contamination. Benzene is a proven cause of cancer and leukaemia. Just Google “benzene poisoning”.

In USA chemicals have escaped from badly-sealed shale gas wells. In 2008 researchers found benzene in a water well in Wyoming, close to a large gas field. I understand fracking has already been banned in France, New York, New Jersey, Quebec and parts of Switzerland.

Engineers drill down through thousands of feet of earth to reach the shale and explosive charges are set in a perforated pipe. Vast amounts of water and chemicals are piped into the hole under pressure.

Tony Juniper, a past Friends of the Earth leader, said on Radio 4 that fracking releases methane and if only three per cent methane is given off into the atmosphere it would be equivalent to the greenhouse gases given off by coal, so gas from fracking does not even seem to be low carbon. I’m very concerned that local people’s water could be polluted with chemicals.

A. WILLS

Dulverton Road, Ruislip, Middlesex