Court backs regulator in fracking challenge

Richard Macrory: A recent legal case has highlighted the difficulty of challenging a decision of an expert regulator in a complex technical field

Richard Macrory
Richard Macrory, emeritus professor of environmental law, University College London

The High Court has recently considered the legal duties of the Environment Agency (EA) when ruling on an application to vary the conditions of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) permit.

R on the application of Friends of the Earth v Environment Agency ([2019] EWHC 25 Planning Court, High Court of Justice, 11 January 2019) concerned one of the first shale gas exploration sites in the UK, which was granted an environmental permit by the EA in January 2015.

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