Leading the fight against fracking

Fracking is seen by some as a new method for energy generation in the UK.

Fracking is seen by some as a new method for energy generation in the UK. - Credit: supplied

A WOMAN from Backwell has set up a new group to raise awareness of the threat of fracking in North Somerset.

Sarah Kelloway has set up Fracking Awareness Backwell (FAB) to provide information to villagers about the danger of coal bed methane extraction.

Fracking is a controversial drilling technique which involves millions of gallons of fluid – a mixture of water, sand and chemicals – being injected underground at high pressure to fracture shale rocks and release natural gas inside.

UK Methane recently announced it will soon be applying for planning permission to drill for shale gas using hydraulic fracturing in Somerset.

Backwell is very close to an area covered by a petroleum exploration and development licence and campaigners are concerned about the effects the method could have on public health and the environment.

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Sarah said: “Backwell parish is built on shallow coal seams, and these now fall under a mineral extraction permit. Our fields and woods are now prime targets for CBM exploration.

“Roads like the A370 could become 24-hour routes for lorries and industrial vehicles, creating noise, pollution, and even structural damage to local buildings.

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“There would be few jobs for local people, as the majority of the work is highly specialised.

“Any purported economic benefits fracking might provide to local communities will ultimately be cancelled out by the cost of clearing up the toxins it releases, and of treating the health consequences for local people.”

Fracking is a relatively new method, and although it’s used widely in America and Australia, little is known about the long term effects the drilling can have on nearby communities.

But campaigners are concerned about possible health risks if toxic chemicals escape into the environment and water supply and the threat to the stability of the surrounding land if huge craters are drilled into the earth.

Sarah is urging people to join the group and help to campaign against the controversial drilling method in the district.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the group can email frackingawarenessbackwell@gmail.com or visit FABs Facebook page FAB-Fracking Awareness Backwell.

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