There a contractor) who oversees the design,construction and

There are various local environmental impacts from shale gasfracking: the excessive water use, groundwater contaminationand wastewater handling as discussed above, as well as noise,odours, and the disposal of solid wastes. In order to prevent contamination,the integrity of fracking wells must be ensured. Guidelinesfor achieving this were recommended in the RS/RAEng report28, which are largely reflected in documents produced by theAmerican Petroleum Institute and the HSE that are recommendedby DECC 41. It is believed that properly designed wells shouldnot pose a risk of contamination to underground aquifers 41.

Ofcourse regulation, however good, is ineffective without rigorousenforcement backed by seriously deterrent penalties. Both welldesign and construction are overseen by an Independent Well Examinerand the HSE Wells Inspector. No operation can commencebefore an inspection by the independent examiner (employed bythe operating company or a contractor) who oversees the design,construction and maintenance of a well 42.

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However fully independentmonitoring of the wells which was recommended by theRS/RAEng report was rejected during the enactment of the UKInfrastructure Act 2015 43, primarily leaving the reporting of leakagesup to the operating company. Furthermore, the monitoring ormanagement of abandoned wells remains unclear, particularly if


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