Two British scientists have warned that the UK Government’s definition of fracking could risk environmental harm.
In a letter published in Nature on 23 August Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh and geophysics expert David Smythe write that the government’s legal definition of hydraulic fracturing has “little rational or scientific basis”.
As DeSmog UK first revealed in 2015, under the UK Infrastructure Act fracking is defined based on the volume of fluid used during oil and gas extraction: 10,000 cubic metres or more per well. This is much higher than the threshold for “high-volume hydraulic fracturing” in the US (between 2,000 and 2,500 cubic metres per well). The definition originates from a report conducted on behalf of the European Commission.