Anti-fracking campaigners in Ryedale are calling on their MP, Kevin Hollinrake, to oppose legislation that would allow fracking in, around and under protected areas, despite promises made by the Government in January that fracking in these areas would be banned.
On Tuesday October 27 the Government is planning to debate secondary legislation on fracking, which would allow fracking in all Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and all groundwater source protection zones (SPZs), which provide the country with a third of its drinking water. The legislation – which is contained in a parliamentary device called a ‘statutory instrument’ - would also allow fracking under National Parks and AONBs, and does not provide any restrictions to placing fracking infrastructure within their boundaries.
The vote on the legislation will follow in the next few days.
In January this year, the Government accepted an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill (now Act) that would have banned fracking in all groundwater source protection zones, which are the areas that are designated to protect the aquifers that provide our drinking water.
During the House of Commons debate on the Infrastructure Bill on 26 January, the then Energy Secretary Amber Rudd also made the following commitment on the floor of the House of Commons: “We have agreed an outright ban on fracking in national parks, sites of special scientific interest and areas of outstanding natural beauty.”
Frack Free Ryedale have written Kevin Hollinrake an open letter asking him to speak at the meeting opposing the legislation, and to vote against it when it arrives at the floor of the House.
David Davis of Frack Free Ryedale said: “It is clear that the Government has broken its promise to ban fracking in protected areas, including SSSIs and SPZs. It is time for Mr Hollinrake to show his constituents that he supports strong regulation by opposing this ill-conceived and dangerous legislation.”
The legislation has also been strongly opposed by the RSPB, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and many other wildlife and conservation organisations. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has identified 293 wildlife sites that would be threatened by fracking.