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In its role of coordinator of the network, the JRC counts on its expertise in the field – its current research on unconventional gas and oil sources focuses on shale gas and its impact on EU's energy security, market and resources objectives.

JRC work so far has included analyses on alternative technologies to hydraulic fracturing, as well as resources estimation, exploitation, technologies, techno-economic assessment and market impact. A study on the environmental impact has explored different scenarios complemented by a risk assessment of potential human and ecosystem health impacts attributable to the accidental or operational release of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing of shale formations, based on a life cycle approach.

The JRC is also working together with the Member States on the review of the Reference Document on Best Available Techniques (BREF) for the management of tailings and waste-rock in mining activities, focusing on the management of waste from on-shore extractive industries.

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