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Lords to question Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil on fracking regulation

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will tomorrow take evidence from the Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil, the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive in a session focused on the regulatory framework surrounding shale gas development.

The session is part of the Committee's inquiry into the possible economic impact of shale gas and oil on the UK's energy policy. It comes as opponents of development of shale gas in the UK raise concerns about possible health and environmental risks associated with fracking.

Giving evidence to the Committee will be:

  • Mr Duarte Figueira, Director, Office of Unconventional Gas & Oil, Department of Energy and Climate Change;
  • Lord Smith of Finsbury, Chairman and Mr Tony Grayling , Head of Climate Change and Communities, Environment Agency;
  • Mr Peter Baker, Director, Hazardous Installations Directorate, Health and Safety Executive

Areas the Committee will cover with the witnesses include:

  • How their organisations will organise the regulation of shale gas exploration and what their respective roles are.
  • How permits for shale exploration are awarded and whether the process needs to be speeded up.
  • What concerns they have over air quality near shale gas extraction sites based on the evidence from the USA.
  • How important local agreement to shale extraction in an area is if it is to proceed and what can be done to encourage that.

The evidence session will take start at 3:35PM on Tuesday 3 December in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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