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East Kent Against Fracking says applications should not be granted in flood-risk areas

By Emily Stott

An opposition group says fracking applications should not be granted in areas prone to flooding.

East Kent Against Fracking (EKAF) has revealed that should drilling go ahead, flood-hit communities could be faced with chemical spillage due to high water levels.

The group said that the Government’s drive to promote unconventional gas and oil exploration had been “eclipsed” by the disastrous flooding across Kent, but the two were more linked than ever.

Greenpeace chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “Broken equipment, leaking wells and spillages of chemicals or waste water could all represent a risk to public health and our natural environment in the event of a major flood.”

EKAF member Di Jones, of New Street, Sandwich, said the Department for Energy and Climate Change had advised that those areas prone to flooding were at greater risk if fracking were accepted.

She added: “When the area floods, the water permeates down through the ground water and any pollutants down there will come back up to the surface, which is dangerous to health.

“And it gets into the grass and the animals feed on it.”

The group has plans to hold meetings in Eastry, Ash and Sandwich – the areas surrounding the already approved licence for test drilling at Woodnesborough.

Ms Jones added: “The field in Woodnesborough, to the best of my knowledge, has been flooded twice.”

EKAF says that this would make the area more vulnerable to toxic spills.

“People need to know – there’s still ignorance within the communities about what fracking is.” - Ms Di Jones.

It believes fracking could pollute the chalk aquifer which supplies water across Kent, as well as polluting the air, reducing house prices and risking earthquakes.

The group is now running a new campaign, and aims to visit all 30 or more towns and villages in the area that are open to fracking licences.

Ms Jones added: “People need to know – there’s still ignorance within the communities about what fracking is.”

The first event will take place at Barham Village Hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm, and will include a screening of an acclaimed documentary on fracking in the UK, which will be followed by a question and answer session involving local experts.

For more information or to request a meeting, email eastkentagainstfracking@gmail.com.

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