Anti-fracking campaigners have welcomed a United Nations report that warns that the Government is “flouting” its duty to protect its citizens from illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution.
The report centres on traffic pollution, but makes special mention of fracking.
It says: “Regulations on fracking are complex and split between several regulators, and do not appear to be sufficiently stringent .”
It also says that it relies too much on “self-monitoring by the oil and gas industry.”
Fracking in Lancashire has proved controversial, and has attracted large protests.
A spokesman from the Preston New Road Action Group said: “It is significant to note that the UN’s special rapporteur highlighted Lancashire in his report.
“He also identified that the UK’s fracking regulations are ‘complex, split between several regulators and do not appear to be sufficiently stringent.’
“He indicated this would increase the risk of water pollution.
“Preston New Road Action Group have repeatedly drawn attention to the UK’s disconnected fracking regulators and potential loopholes for the industry to abuse.
“Cuadrilla have already demonstrated that they will flout the rules for their own benefit by bringing the rig onto site outside the permitted hours.”
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A Government spokesperson said: “We have been clear that shale development in the UK must be safe and environmentally sound.
“The UK has a strong regulatory system which provides a comprehensive regime for exploratory activities.
“It uses existing regulators with long-standing experience of regulating against different sectors in their area of specialisation.”