Dorset Green Party: Fracking could cause water contamination
The Green Party has warned that potential fracking in Dorset could contaminate water supplies.
The West and South Dorset Green Party have raised concerns about water contamination which has occurred in the United States.
Wessex Water has stated it would be opposed to any method of fracking where water quality would be compromised.
Fracking is a controversial method of extracting gas and oil by drilling and injecting fluid into the ground, fracturing shale rocks.
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The governement recently gave fracking the green light, and following a tremor near Blackpool, concerns have been raised about the controversial method.
A spokesperson from the West and South Dorset Green Party said: "Oil is already pumped up in the Wytch Farm / Kimmeridge Bay area of Purbeck and there are a number of existing exploration and production licences in this area.
"As these do not specify the method of extraction, fracking could be used.
"The Green Party rejects the idea that the UK should extend its reliance on fossil fuels. Instead of this dubious fracking option, the energy companies should invest in renewable options like wind and tidal energy."
The Green Party has written to Wessex Water, asking if they are monitoring the situation in Dorset, and what they believe their legal responsibilities are regarding fracking.
A Wessex Water spokesperson said: "Wessex Water obtains about 75 per cent of the water we supply from groundwater, so it is important that the quality of the water in the environment is maintained.
"For instance, in the Dorset area, we are doing a lot of work with farmers to reduce the level of nitrates in groundwater.
"In the case of fracking, we would look to the Environment Agency, in liaison with the planning authorities to ensure the protection of aquifiers. The planning authorities consult us on any applications which may affect our operations and we would object to any proposals for fracking which we believed posed a threat to our water supply sources."
A recent conference suggested Dorset would benefit from geothermal energy, without the need for wind power.
A protest will take place in Swanage on Sunday over plans to build a wind farm off the Dorset coast.