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HBRC supports potential study on fracking in Oil Exploration

29 February 2012

HBRC supports potential study on fracking in Oil Exploration

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has put its support behind any potential study into hydraulic fracturing used in oil exploration.

At its full council meeting today Council voted unanimously to request the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to instigate a study on the likely risks and benefits of oil exploration using hydraulic fracturing on the East Coast.

The recommendation was put forward by Councillor Liz Remmerswaal, who said the report was needed given the huge public interest in oil exploration and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is known.

HBRC Group Manager Iain Maxwell told the meeting the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment was already undertaking a scoping exercise to help determine whether to do a full investigation into fracking. The recommendation supports any potential study by the Commissioner.

He says HBRC has so far not received any recent resource consent applications for oil exploration in the Hawke’s Bay region.

HBRC Chief Executive Andrew Newman says it is important the public understands it is not Council’s role to have a view for or against oil exploration in Hawke’s Bay, but rather gather the information it needs to make an informed decision on any resource consent application it may receive in the future.

“The more independent information in the public domain the better.”

He says councils are obliged by law to accept and process any resource consent applications they receive.

“HBRC’s Regional Resource Management Plan has a range of controls relevant to this type of activity that provides for sustainable management of natural resources.”

He says as the statutory authority HBRC’s role is to process any resource consent applications that are made, assess the effects of the activity under the Resource Management Act, and to monitor any resource consents that are issued to ensure they are complying with the conditions of any consent.

ENDS

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