Have Your Say on The Joint Minerals and Waste Plan
The final round of consultation is now open on the Joint Minerals and Waste Plan (JMWP). This very important document will determine the way in whcih planning applications for waste and minerals development in the region are decided in future. The local authorities covered by the JMWP are City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the North York Moors National Park, so the consultation is your chance to influence policy accross a large area. The types of development covered by the JMWP include drilling for oil and gas and fracking. The JMWP also covers disposal of waste water from the oil and gas industry by reinjection wells, or into rivers and the sea. For this reason it’s vital that you take part in the consultation to make clear that there is strong public interest in the issue of fracking and that we won’t accept a laissez-faire approach to the issue of fracking. The deadline for responses is 5pm on 21 December.
Please visit this page to download the published version of the JMWP and the response forms for the consulation.
Friends of the Earth have produced a guide to issues you may want to include in your response here. This guide does not include a call for a complete ban on fracking, or unconventional gas in the region. While such a ban is what we would all like to see, local authorities are constrained by national policies that stop them imposing such a ban. What we can do is argue for policies that limit the harm of the oil and gas industry as much as possible. Whatever policies are included in the final version of the JMWP Frack Free York will continue to oppose all unconventional oil and gas exploration and production.
The guide from Friends of the Earth gives detailed explanations of arguments to use in your response, as well as details of which policies to respond to. Although their document is a great guide to the consultation, you should write your response in your own words instead of copying and pasting the entire Friends of the Earth guide. However you may want to copy their ammended versions of the policies, where they show how the wording should change. The Friends of the Earth guide includes an argument against the scope of the consulation. The official scope of the consultation is that they only accept arguments based on the legality or soundness of the JMWP. Legality and soundness have very specific meanings in this consultation and are defined here (pdf). If you want to make a response that covers issues other than legality and Soundness, you should refer to this argument, in which Friends of the Earth dispute this limited scope.
The Friends of the Earth guide deals with policies M16, M17 and M18. You may also wish to repsond to policies W10 and W11, which govern the siting of waste disposal sites. Waste disposal is an important aspect of the uncovnetional oil and gas issue, as the industry generates vast quantities of toxic waste water. Friends of the Earths arguments on, local impacts on environment and health and cumulative impacts are also relevant to waste water disposal from the oil and gas industry and should be considered in these policies.
If you don’t want to complete your consultation response alone, you can join us for the Frack Free York Christmas Consultation Party from 7pm on 13 December at the Crescent Community Venue off Blossom Street (YO24 1AW). You’ll be able to respond to the consultation in a friendly social atmosphere and get more advice on how to respond.
You can download the slides from the 13 December 2016 Presentation on the Joint Minerals and Waste Plan consultation at the link below.