Submitted by Labour Shadow Energy Secretary Tom Greatrex, the proposed amendment to the Infrastructure Bill would prohibit fracking in ‘groundwater source protection zones’.

These aquifers, designated by the Environment Agency, can supply up to 80% of the water coming out of taps in southern England.

“Labour’s call for a ban on fracking near aquifers and for other safeguards is the right one – it is basic common sense to not risk Britain’s drinking water,” said FoE climate and energy campaigner Donna Hume.

“While Labour’s set of proposals is a welcome break from the Government’s gung-ho pursuit of controversial fracking whatever the cost, the truth is that any fracking is highly risky for people’s health and the environment and has no place in any community.

Frack to the future? 

Last yearDavid Cameron said fracking would be good for the country, and that opposition was fuelled by misunderstanding. Likewise, in December’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor George Osborne appeared to back fracking by confirming proposals for a Shale Gas Sovereign Wealth Fund, funded by the proceeds of shale gas.

But environmental scientists maintain that fracking poses considerable environmental and public health risks.

A recent study by the British Geological Society concluded: “Groundwater may be potentially contaminated by extraction of shale gas both from the constituents of shale gas itself, from the formulation and deep injection of water containing a cocktail of additives used for hydraulic fracturing and from flowback water which may have a high content of saline formation water.”

Your opinion: Readers’ poll

Do you agree with environmental activists that fracking should be banned, or do you agree with the economic arguments put forward by the Conservative government?

Brad Allen

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