Tuesday 31 March 2015
Medact vs British Columbia
The latest fracking-related media ripple comes to us courtesy of Medact, a health-campaigining organisation, who have written a report on the potential health impacts of fracking. I say ripple because it seems that even the media appear to be tiring of these endless reports.
In fact, some reporting has focussed on the fact that Medact's director appears to have been unaware that the "independent expert" who contributed large sections of the report was also standing for parliament in the Fylde on an anti-fracking platform (the same Mike Hill who has featured previously on this blog).
The report brings up the usual talking points about well integrity, water contamination and air pollution, concluding that we should have a fracking moratorium.
I'm currently busy with other work, so I'm not going to post a detailed discussion of the report as I have done with similar reports in the past.
Instead, I am going to leave it to the reader to compare the Medact report, supposedly written by public health professionals, with another shale-gas-public-health report also recently released by the British Columbia Ministry of Health. Update 1.4.2015: Some of the links appear to be broken at present. The home page for the B.C. study is here, a brief summary is available here, and a ppt is available here, but as you'll note the links to the report itself don't seem to work at present.
The B.C. report comes to very different conclusions to Medact - generally speaking health risks are considered to be low, and while recommendations to improve regulations are suggested as you would expect, they do not see the need for a moratorium or ban. The level of detail and the amount of work in the B.C. report is impressive - when reading the Medact report after reading this, I am left feeling how amateurish the Medact study looks.
Update 1.4.2015: UKOOG have issued a detailed rebuttal, showing how the Medact report has failed to understand how the UK regulatory system works.