According to a Department For Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), underground fracking could reduce nearby house prices to 7%. It could also create a risk of environmental damage.
The Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report released on Wednesday by power of freedom of information showed their official assessment of the impact of fracking. It warned of leakage of waste fluids that could contaminate water sources designed for human consumption and for growing agrcultural products.
Several parts of the report were omitted last year. Caroline Lucas, Green MP, accused the government of censorship and hiding the negative impacts of fracking.
Through an ICO ruling, the document was released without any redactions and censorship.
These omitted sections showed that:
House prices near fracking wells were likely to fall, and there was a potential reduction of up to 7% in property values within a mile of wells.
- Properties within a one- to five-mile radius of fracking sites may incur additional insurance costs.
- Leakage of waste fluids from fracking processes has resulted in environmental damage in the US.
- Even if contaminated surface water did not directly impact on drinking-water supplies, fracking could affect human health indirectly through consumption of contaminated wildlife, livestock or agricultural products. It concluded that the UK regulatory regime was “likely to be more robust” but the impact on water-resource availability, aquatic habitats and ecosystems, and water quality was “uncertain”.
According to Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the report was misleading. She emphasized more on its draft nature.