LETTER: Shale gas fears

WHY consider the extraction of shale gas in this country?

If we get it wrong there is no going back.

The process to retrieve shale gas (fracking) brings with it many risks to our health and wellbeing long and short term.

I would urge anyone to research the process and see the problems it has caused in America and Australia.

Hundreds of wells will be needed for a viable and continuous flow of gas. Each well will produce millions of gallons of contaminated, toxic, part-radioactive water as part of the process.

I ask just one question of many:

How can there be a safe way to dispose of this water?

It cannot be processed or cleaned and we cannot send it back to our rivers or the sea.

There is a suggestion it could be disposed of down redundant or disused wells. This is practised in the American state of Oklahoma and since has caused a notable increase in earthquake activity.

Could it be this water, still full of chemicals designed to be aggressive and migrate, finds its way into fissures and allows rock strata to displace thereby causing quakes and possible migration to water supplies?

There are already two UK planning applications to dispose of wastewater in this way.

The government is forging ahead changing the trespass law to allow the disposal of any substance (including radioactive) up to 300 metres below our homes. If we don’t have the answers we should not even consider the process. Water is essential to life; it has to be there for future generations.

Chris Stemp

Midhurst Road

Fernhurst