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Potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe

This report aims at setting out the key environmental and health risk issues associated with the potential development and growth of high volume hydraulic fracturing in Europe. It concentrates on the direct impacts of hydraulic fracturing and associated activities such as transportation and wastewater management. It drew mainly on experience from North America, where hydraulic fracturing has been increasingly widely practised since early in the 2000s. The views of regulators, geological surveys and academics in Europe and North America were sought. Where possible, the results have been set in the European regulatory and technical context.
The study includes a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of current EU legislation relating to shale gas exploration and production and the degree to which the current EU framework adequately covers the impacts and risks identified. A review of risk management measures is also included.

Mark Broomfield, AEA Technology plc
Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising fromhydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe
Report for European Commission DG Environment
AEA/R/ED57281; Issue Number 17c
Published 10 August 2012; re-issued with minor corrections 11 February 2013
See also:
Arthur Neslen, EU study sparks regulation debate over ‘high-risk’ shale gas. EurActiv, Sept. 9, 2012 (updated: Sept. 19, 2012)
SHIP: New European Commission studies on possible consequences of exploiting shale gas . Natural Gas Europe, Sept. 16, 2012


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