Angus MacDonald MSP Calls for Full Public Health Impact Study on ‘Fracking’
Sunday, 04 January 2015 19:49
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has called on the Scottish Government to undertake a full public health impact study into the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, before any applications are considered by local authorities.
In a letter to the Depute First Minister John Swinney, Mr MacDonald stated:
“You will be fully aware of the concerns in my Falkirk East Constituency and throughout Scotland regarding the possibility of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas being undertaken within the next few years.
“Many of the concerns raised are centred on the possible environmental and health impacts which may arise from this controversial method of unconventional gas extraction.
“Given those concerns I would urge you to conduct a Public Health Impact Study prior to any application for hydraulic fracturing being approved, however I am aware that to date no application for fracking has been received by a planning authority in Scotland”.
Mr MacDonald also called for the study to include “a remit to investigate any existing health impacts from the current extraction of coal-bed methane in the Airth/Letham area of my constituency”.
Speaking this week in Airth, Angus MacDonald said:
“I am hopeful the Scottish Government will agree to my request for a full public health impact study. I know from earlier discussions and answers to questions I have asked in the Parliament that the Scottish Government is acutely aware of the health and environmental concerns being expressed by many in local communities, not just here in Falkirk district, but throughout Scotland.
“The Scottish Government must take all steps necessary to fully investigate any possible health and environmental impacts prior to any application for fracking being considered by local planning authorities.
“The public must be given ‘peace of mind’ on this issue, given the experiences and concerns in other parts of the globe, and a full public health impact study will go some way to addressing that.
“I will continue to press the Scottish Government for early action on this when we return to Parliament next week”.