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Regional Council welcomes report on oil exploration

27 November 2012

Regional Council welcomes report on oil exploration

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council welcomes the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s investigation into fracking released today.

The practice of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, was the subject of a study requested in part by a unanimous recommendation from HBRC Councillors in February 2012.

HBRC Chief Executive Andrew Newman supports the report’s comments on regulation, coordination and consistency as a means of clarifying the role regional councils plays in this activity.

“We welcome the Commissioner’s report on fracking which supports all parties, regional councils included, working in a more collaborative manner,” says Mr Newman.

“We agree with the comments on better oversight and regulation of the processes, so as to achieve a good balance between economic growth, health and safety and environmental management.”

The Commissioner’s report identifies that the environmental risks associated with fracking can be effectively managed, also addressing health and safety risks, providing that best operational practices are implemented and enforced through regulation. The report was issued with a statement that the Energy and Resources Minister, Phil Heatley and Environment Minister, Amy Adams would lead the development of best practice guidelines for the regulation of fracking, in collaboration with local government.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council voted unanimously in February 2012 to request the Commissioner to instigate a study on the likely risks and benefits of oil exploration using hydraulic fracturing on the East Coast. HBRC has not received any recent resource consent applications for oil exploration in the Hawke’s Bay region. Under the Resource Management Act, councils are obliged by law to accept any resource consent applications they receive, and to subsequently process them.

ENDS

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