Examples of how we protect health
- Use of non hazardous chemicals – removing the source of the hazard.
- Using low concentrations and specific handling – mitigating the risk.
- Careful monitoring before, during and after operations.
- Fracking takes place many kilometres below the surface with no connection with water supplies – i.e. no pathway.
The independent study for the Scottish Government undertaken by NHS Scotland agreed with the conclusions of Public Health England in 2014. It lists known hazards (that are not unique to unconventional oil and gas), and are already addressed through the current regulatory planning and permitting processes in Scotland.
A series of authoritative, independent experts state that the risks can be managed, including the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Scottish Government’s Independent Expert Scientific Panel and Public Health England.
It is important to note that a risk can only occur if there is first a hazard that has a way of connecting to a human or animal through some form of pathway. The regulatory system looks at all sources of potential hazard, assessing if there is a possible pathway and a person or animal that may be impacted. Where there is, the risk will be avoided or mitigation implemented to remove or reduce the risk.
Many of these social (and environmental) impacts can be mitigated if they are carefully considered at the planning application stage. Added to which there are already considerable legislative safeguards to ensure such impacts are not realisedIndependent Panel of Experts for the Scottish Government, June 2014