MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) – British environmental activists fear a Yorkshire national park may be turned into an industrial fracking facility as the country's Third Energy company got permission to drill for gas in the area, The Independent reported Monday.
"Third Energy intends to inject via mechanical means a total of 5.88 million cubic meters of waste over a nine-year period. Third Energy's suggestion this process will not have any negative impacts on the integrity of the well casing protecting our drinking water from the injected waste is simply ridiculous," the newspaper quoted Russell Scott, a Frack Free Yorkshire activist, as saying.
Third Energy recently received permission to pump the potentially radioactive waste water, which comes up when drilling for gas, back into the ground. It is now expected to start drilling in the gas-rich Ebberston Moor in the historic North York Moors.
The waste water may affect public water, especially in the case of a well failure, the British Environment Agency (EA) said in a document seen by the Independent.
Environment activists fear the waste water pumping may set a precedent for an even bigger problem – fracking, which uses the same technology of pumping water with chemicals into the Earth's rock formations at high pressure to extract gas.
The North York Moors is believed to have extensive gas reserves, which can only be accessed via fracking, according to The Independent. But the park's historical value may be jeopardized should a gas company use it for operations perceived as ecologically risky by many, activists say.
"The North York Moors National Park sustains a healthy tourism and agriculture industry which would be jeopardized by the large-scale industrialization required," Scott said, The Independent reported.
Third Energy claims the risks of soil and water contamination is "very low."
Founded in 2011 and formerly called Viking, the company focuses on gas assets in the Southern Permian Gas Basin in the East Midlands of England. The basin includes northern Poland, northern Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the North Sea.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been widely criticized in Britain lately. A series of protests was organized across northern England in an attempt to garner government support against energy companies' fracking activities.