European Commission Produces Recommendation on Fracking by Nick Boley

The European Commission has published a Recommendation (COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 22 January 2014 on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (2014/70/EU)) which covers high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

The Recommendation highlights a number of issues which concern the use of chemicals in the fracking process, and the resulting environmental concerns. It makes clear the Member States need ensure that any chemicals used in the fracking process must comply with both REACH and Biocides Product Regulations.

There will be a need to monitor water quality where fracking takes place, in order to ascertain whether any chemicals used in the process have found their way into the water at significant levels. This will add to the workload of environmental and water company laboratories, and accredited methods will need to be worked up for any potential contaminants which are outside the current scope of laboratories water quality testing.


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