Fracking: Minding the Gaps

Joanne E Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Fracking, an extraction technique for unconventional oil and gas, has proved highly controversial in England, with environmental and health impacts being a central concern. Although the topic has been widely debated, such debate has focused on the pros and cons of the technique and little attention or literature has focused on the current regulatory system. At present, uncertainty surrounds numerous aspects of the extraction technique and the promotion of fracking in England is largely founded on the assumption that a strong regulatory system is already in place to control any impacts. This article will examine the current suites of regulation and will highlight the gaps that are present within the existing European Union (EU) and national controls and their connection to potential environmental and public health damage. Such an examination
will consider legislation as well as the ability of regulators in England to act. This article will show that, at present, the system governing fracking is far from satisfactory. In light of this, the regulatory approaches now available will be evaluated and the need for a more precautionary approach to regulation highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironmental Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Fracking
  • Environment
  • Regulation


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