Slovenian Announces Plans to Ban High-Volume Fracking

By , 11 Jan 2021, 08:51 AM Business
Petišovci, where Ascent Resources plans to frack Petišovci, where Ascent Resources plans to frack Google Maps

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STA, 9 January 2020 - The government has drafted mining act changes, under which high-volume fracking would be prohibited in Slovenia. The changes also lay down conditions for low-volume fracking. This comes after several unsuccessful attempts by opposition parties to ban fracking altogether.

The changes draw the limit between low-volume and high-volume fracking at 1,000 cubic metres of water per fracking phase or 10,000 cubic meters per entire fracking procedure.

While high-volume fracking would be banned, low-volume fracking would be allowed under several conditions, including that all ingredients in the fracking fluid and proppants must be known and approved for use in Slovenia.

Moreover, there can be no surface outflow of pollutants and they must not pollute the soil, water or air. Pollutants on the surface must be handled according to relevant rules, and must not contaminate underground water.

What is more, fracking must not come into contact with an aquifer and must not cause damage to other activities near the drilling wells.

Answering a question from the opposition earlier this week, Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said that the changes "are substantially more restrictive than the provisions proposed by the European Commission," because the latter does not find low-volume fracking dangerous and does not regulate it.

"The technological method, just like any dangerous technological in the industry, will be safe for the people, the environment and nature," Vrtovec said in written answer to SocDems MP Dejan Židan.

The changes were put up for public consultation by the Infrastructure Ministry two weeks ago and stakeholders have until 22 January to comment.

The British company Ascent has been trying for years to get approval for fracking in Petišovci, NE, while left-leaning parties have attempted to get fracking banned three times.

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