The Government is seeking to ensure that surface activities associated with hydraulic fracturing will not occur in specified protected areas. In the proposals put forward in the consultation document, this would be delivered through the inclusion of a licence condition in new Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) and the development of a policy statement designed to inform the approval process for programmes submitted for approval under existing PEDLs.
The Government proposes to apply the surface restrictions to the "protected groundwater source areas" and "other protected areas" as defined in the draft Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing (Protected Areas) Regulations 2015. In addition, recognising that surface activities are of greatest public concern, the Government is minded to apply the proposals to additional sensitive areas such as national parks and world heritage sites.
The consultation is targeted at licence holders and representative bodies with a particular interest in this matter and the management of the specified protected areas. The consultation period closes on 16 December.
Author: Department of Energy and Climate Change
This item updates DCP section 25.1