Hastings Mayor clarifies council position on fracking
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule has clarified Council’s position on fracking, following discussion during the Long Term Planning process.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a process which is used during oil and gas exploration where the reservoir rock is fractured to release the minerals.
A number of submitters to the Long Term Plan pointed out the potential for damage to the environment if fracking is allowed to take place in Hawke’s Bay.
Mr Yule says “Council will wait for the results of a review on fracking by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, before taking any formal stance on this issue. While HDC is not a Consenting Authority for the majority of the issues associated with exploration and extraction of minerals, we will take a position which will ensure the protection of our water resources, particularly the Heretaunga Plains aquifer.”
“The aquifer is the life blood of Hawkes Bay and one of the most significant and pure forms of water in New Zealand. Council will seek to protect the aquifer and other waterways as an immediate priority. This could involve HDC’s formal opposition during a consenting process and we will adopt a precautionary approach,” Mr Yule says.
Lawrence Yule says “Council acknowledges there may be a significant mineral resource in our region which could generate significant growth in GDP and jobs. The location of these potential deposits and sites of extraction are unknown at this stage. The benefits which could come from the extraction of minerals need to be clearly balanced against possible environmental risks. It may be possible that certain exploration and extraction methodology could be used at some sites in Hastings district which could potentially add value to Hawkes Bay, while satisfying environmental concerns.”
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