The European Parliament has voted to make environmental impact assessments compulsory before fracking can go ahead. Under the current Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, many shale gas projects have avoided the need for an EIA because they extract less than 500,000 cubic metres a day. MEPs, who are reviewing the directive, want the EIA to be mandatory for all fracking of gas and oil, whatever the quantity extracted. They also want an EIA to be carried out for any exploration using fracking.
MEPs also proposed two further measures: to ensure the public is consulted on fracking proposals and to ensure people who carry out EIAs are scientifically objective and independent of developers or public authorities.