House prices near fracking sites could fall by up to 7 per cent, insurance premiums may rise and those living nearby could suffer indirect health problems, a government report warns.
Fracking could also worsen traffic congestion, noise and air quality, and may not bring many jobs to an area in the longer term, according to other previously redacted passages in the report.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) finally released the full report, after a year-long campaign by Greenpeace. This culminated in a ruling by the data protection watchdog that Defra must publish all the findings.
The report warns that the risk of explosion could add to insurance costs on properties within five miles of a site, while those within one mile could lose between 0 and 7 per cent of their values.
It adds that, even if contaminated surface water does not directly affect drinking water, “it can affect human health indirectly through consumption of contaminated wildlife, livestock, or agricultural products”.
The fracking industry body UKOOG said the report was “in danger of extrapolating the experiences of other jurisdictions that have different regulation, planning regimes and geologies.”
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