Public consultation on onshore oil and gas
PUBLIC CONSULTATION on the
SCHEER Preliminary Opinion on
public health impacts and risks resulting from onshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the EU
The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) today publish the preliminary Opinion on public health impacts and risks resulting from onshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the EU.
Although more than 1300 different chemicals – some of which are known carcinogens - may be released in the environment as a result of oil and gas operations, to date there has been very limited scientific assessment of the possible health effects in the EU. For this reason, the SCHEER has been asked to assess public health risks resulting from onshore oil and gas exploration and extraction activities on a commercial scale in the EU, and to identify knowledge gaps.
In its preliminary Opinion, the SCHEER concludes that the existing epidemiological studies provide weak to moderate evidence that onshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation entail health risks for the general population. They also indicate that the risk of some cancers and of adverse birth outcomes may be increased in populations living around onshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation sites.
In order to address the identified knowledge gaps, the SCHEER recommends the following:
- A centralised and harmonised well-based inventory of all oil and gas exploration and exploitation sites in the EU;
- Analytical and modelling studies that identify, quantify and characterise exposure mixtures and their levels in the vicinity of these sites;
- Targeted biomonitoring studies of populations potentially at risk; and
- Large-scale epidemiological studies with accurate exposure assessment.
In line with the Stakeholder Dialogue Procedures (Annex V to the Rules of Procedures of the Scientific Committees), the Scientific Committees are now seeking feedback from the scientific community and stakeholders on this preliminary Opinion.
All interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the preliminary Opinion by 6 May 2018 in view of gathering specific comments, suggestions, explanations or contributions on the scientific basis of the Opinion, as well as any other scientific information regarding the questions addressed, to enable the Scientific Committees to focus on issues that need to be further investigated.
The electronic template provided with the documents should be used exclusively for the submission of comments, with reference made to the line and page numbers. Please note that comments submitted by email or post cannot be taken into account.
As stated in the Rules of Procedures (Annex V), a submission will not be considered if:
- it is submitted after the deadline set out in the call,
- it is presented in any other form than the template provided,
- it exceeds the maximum length indicated for each section, or contains comments which do not correspond to the indicated title of that particular section,
- it contains information on individual cases or any other material not included in published reports,
- it contains complaints against institutions, personal accusations or irrelevant or offensive statements or material. Complaints should be made according to the existing procedures,
- it is related to policy or risk management aspects.
The Scientific Committee will assess all comments from interested parties which are submitted in line with the criteria above and will take them into consideration if they are found relevant.
The European Commission reserves the right to publish all comments received on the Scientific Committees' website. Please read the Privacy statement before submitting comments.
(deadline: 6 May 2018, 23:59 (CET))