14 October 2013
Greenpeace launches legal action on fracking
Greenpeace has launched a legal challenge that could halt plans by a number of businesses to extract shale gas in the UK.
Currently, there is little in the way of planning regulation for companies looking to tap the resource, as most operations take place underground and do not produce as much pollution as other forms of energy generation.
But Greenpeace will attempt to use the argument that the ground underneath a property belongs to its owner and this could prevent some shale gas extraction sites from being used if permission is not properly sought.
While this legal action would not stop fracking from going ahead if the relevant landowners agree to a development, it would make it much more difficult for a number of contentious sites to be drilled.
Andrew Pemberton, a Lancashire-based dairy farmer, backed Greenpeace's action and said: "I'm supplying milk to 3,000 households and if for any reason my water became contaminated, my business would be ruined and my livelihood destroyed."
Drilling companies deny alleged links between fracking and water contamination.
By Francesca Witney