Americans say ‘reject fracking in Lancashire’

Police officers push back environmental activists as they slow down a lorry heading to the Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, as anti fracking demonstrations continue. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 12, 2013. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Fracking. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Police officers push back environmental activists as they slow down a lorry heading to the Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, as anti fracking demonstrations continue. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 12, 2013. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Fracking. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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Elected officials in New York State, which banned fracking in December, have written to councillors in Lancashire to urge them to refuse planning permission for Cuadrilla’s two fracking applications.

The state banned fracking after its Department of Public Health completed a two year study which concluded that fracking poses significant public health risks and should be banned.

Both the UK government and applicants Cuadrilla maintain that shale gas extraction can be safe if properly monitored and regulated,

Elected Officials to Protect New York, a network of more than 850 elected officials from across New York State, wrote a letter to the Lancashire councillors asking them to note the conclusions of the New York State health and environmental studies and ensure that the council doesn’t expose its residents to the same health risks.

Martha Robertson, Tompkins County Legislator, from Elected Officials to Protect New York, said: “We have written to Lancashire’s councillors as fellow elected representatives to urge them to heed the significant and growing evidence of problems and harms with fracking and to turn down Cuadrilla’s planning applications.

“After studying the public health impacts of fracking for years, New York State Health Commissioner Dr Zucker was clear that he would not let his family live in a community with fracking.

“As elected officials, we share with Lancashire councillors a responsibility to protect our constituents, so we have written to show that it is possible to stand up to this dirty and dangerous industry and ensure residents’ safety.”

Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee will decide on Cuadrilla’s fracking applications next week.

A Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “These officials from New York State have no knowledge of Cuadrilla’s applications or of the regulatory controls in the UK and should not be interfering in the democratic process and decisions which will be made by the elected representatives of the people of Lancashire.”