Summary of countries that have taken action against fracking May 2015

List of countries/jurisdictions that have taken action against fracking

21st May 2015

Mark Jones Mount Gambier

UK and Poland are the only European countries to have expressed whole-hearted political enthusiasm for fracking, with even Poland now having second thoughts after three exploration companies withdrew following poor results.

In the US there is a growing list of towns, cities, regions and states all taking some form of action. The state of Michigan is due to vote on imposing a moratorium in the not too distant future. Even in fracking heartland, Texas, the city of Denton recently banned fracking from occurring within the city limits. Only in the last few weeks, the New York state governor has declared fracking will be banned in that state following a six-year moratorium.

A ban of telling significance has been introduced by the Delaware River Basin Commission. The river basin covers 32 000 square kilometres in the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania – 36% of it overlying the Marcellus Shale – with the river system providing drinking water for 15.6 million people – 5% of the US population.

Please let us know if you have more information, comments and feedback in this section are greatly appreciated. We want to make this information as interactive as possible

Country State Action taken against fracking
Australia Victoria Moratorium until mid-2016 to allow a CSG inquiry to be completed.
New South Wales Banned use of BTEX chemicals.
Queensland Banned use of BTEX chemicals.
Western Australia Holding an inquiry into fracking.
Northern Territory Has held an inquiry into fracking & the report states a robust regulatory regime will prevent any problems. Does this mean fracking will commence? Not necessarily.
South Australia Holding an inquiry into fracking relating to the South East.
Tasmania The existing moratorium is to be extended for another 5 years (until 2020).
Austria Has such strict regulations that drilling is uneconomical with no fracking having occurred.
Bulgaria Banned.
Canada Alberta Recent election (May, 2015) in oil- rich Alberta has voted in the New Democratic Party which has said tighter environmental regulations are required for petroleum industry.
Newfoundland Moratorium declared pending a review and a policy on fracking will be developed after public consultation completed.
Nova Scotia Plans to ban fracking after widespread public concern.
Quebec Moratorium in place.
Czech Republic Moratorium in place.
France The first country to ban fracking in 2011 after public pressure based on the precautionary principle. It is interesting to note that both France and Australia have important agricultural sectors.
Germany After allowing, then not allowing fracking, Germany has decided to again allow fracking. There is an important proviso of there being strong environmental safeguards. There are parallels with Austria and some pundits have suggested, that like Austria, the petroleum industry will find these safeguards too onerous and no fracking will eventuate.
Northern Ireland In December 2011, Northern Ireland’s Assembly voted for a moratorium pending an environmental assessment. The Minister has failed to enact the moratorium.
Ireland (south) In May 2012, the Minister for Energy stated that no fracking would occur until a detailed scientific analysis was completed.
Luxembourg Banned.
Netherlands The current ban has been extended to 2016.
New Zealand The Christchurch City Council in an unanimous vote declared their city a fracking-free zone.
The Kaikoura District Council also declared itself a fracking-free zone.
Romania In 2013 there were protests over Chevron trying to develop a well with 1 000 riot police used to control protestors. The Government subsequently introduced a moratorium.
Spain Contabria region (northern Spain) Unanimous parliamentary vote to ban fracking on environmental concerns.
South Africa A moratorium was announced in April 2011. A review was subsequently held resulting in the moratorium being lifted on 7/9/12 with the report kept secret and the reporting team meeting in total secrecy.
Switzerland The Canton of Fribourg has banned fracking.
Tunisia A bill for a moratorium introduced on 6/2/14.
United Kingdom  England Fracking was suspended for nearly a year from June 2011 after safety concerns emerged from the occurrence of two small earthquakes, but an expert report in April 2012 concluded the practice could continue under stricter monitoring and hence it was.
Scotland In January 2015 the Scottish government announced a moratorium on fracking to allow for public consultation on the process and a full public health assessment.
Wales In February 2015 the Wales parliament voted to ban shale gas fracking.
United States Arkansas In an unanimous vote, the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission has banned fracking disposal wells for unconventional gas drilling wastes due to the increased number of earthquakes. The closing of the disposal wells coincided with a sharp full in the number of earthquakes.
California New regulations have been introduced which include requirements for chemical disclosure, baseline and follow-up water testing for nearby wells, notification to nearby property owners and tenants, and groundwater monitoring plans. Also, regulators are directed to make any needed revision to rules governing construction of wells and well casings to ensure well integrity. Petroleum industry complaining that new regulations are among the most restrictive in the world.
California(Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County) The city banned fracking in 2014.
(Mendocino County)
(San Benito County)
(Santa Cruz County)
(Longmont, Broomfield, Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette)
All five cities have halted fracking within their city limits with the results of all five being appealed. The petroleum industry lobby is a very powerful one in Colorado but the rising tide of health issues is starting to dictate the debate.
Delaware River Basin Commission The Commission has banned it in the Delaware River Basin which covers an area of 32 000 sq km and provides drinking water for 15.6 m people over the four states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Hawaii The Hawaii City Council unanimously banned fracking.
Massachusetts The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture passed a bill prohibiting the dumping of fracking waste water in the state.
Legislation that would impose a 10-year moratorium on fracking is working its way through the state legislature.
Maryland Maryland’s parliament voted (10/4/15) 102-34 to ban fracking until October 2017. The bill will shortly head to Republican Governor Hogan for him to sign.
New Jersey Has passed a ban on fracking in the state.In a separate matter a bill passed prohibiting the discharge, disposal, storage or processing of drilling and fracking waste. This is to stop waste coming from Pennsylvania which is next door and is a prolific fracker. The bill awaits action by the Governor.
New Mexico
(Mora County)
The County of 5 000 residents has banned fracking. It is a ranching region where wells are the only source of water.
New York state The state assembly voted by a big majority in early 2014 for a 3-year moratorium. The state covers part of the huge Marcellus Shale gas play.Following the release of a report into fracking at the end of 2014, the process is to be banned making it the second US state to do so.
(Athens County)
County banned fracking in 2012.
Ohio(Mansfield, Richland County) City banned fracking in 2012.
Ohio(Broadview Heights, Cuyahoga County) City banned fracking in 2012.
Ohio(Oberlin, Lorain County) City banned fracking in 2012.
Ohio(Yellow Springs, Green County) City banned fracking in 2012.
Pennsylvania(Pittsburgh) By a vote of 9-0, the Pittsburgh city council voted to ban natural gas drilling in November 2010.
Texas (Dallas City Council) Passed new restrictions that bar fracking within 1 500 feet of a home, school, church and other protected areas. The new rules effectively ban the practice within the city.
The city (in the Barnett Shale area) has a complete ban from fracking within their city limits – a first for Texas.
Vermont In May 2012 Vermont became the first state in the US to ban fracking.
Washington DC City Council The City Council has banned fracking and horizontal drilling for gas in the George Washington National Forest due to contamination concerns of drinking water. The 440 000 hectare forest – located in Virginia and West Virginia – contains the headwaters of the Potomac River, which is the sole source of drinking water for the nation’s capital.