ANTI-FRACKING campaigners took their protest to the city’s Environment Agency over concerns of an alleged “secret meeting” between gas company Third Energy UK Gas Ltd and the agency.

Members of Frack Free York, North Yorkshire and Frack Free Ryedale gathered outside Coverdale House, Clifton Moor, yesterday after discovering via a Freedom of Information request that Third Energy, which plans to submit an application to frack a test well at an existing site in Kirby Misperton, was meeting to discuss hydraulic fracturing products.

Emails obtained by the groups state that the meeting is to “discuss Halliburton’s hydraulic fracturing fluid products which are proposed to be submitted as part of Third Energy’s permit application for KM-8".

Halliburton is one of the largest oil companies across the world with operations in numerous countries.

About 30 protestors gathered with placards outside the building and Russell Scott, of Frack Free North Yorkshire, said that the meeting would do little to reassure local residents' worries.

He said: “We would like to ask Third Energy to reveal the true extent of their involvement with Halliburton. I imagine that the people of Ryedale will not be reassured by this.”

Eve Brown, of Frack Free York, who lives in Fulford, said she was protesting as she was extremely concerned about the potential of water contamination if the controversial gas extraction process was given the green light.

She said: “It seems as though fracking will provide short-term benefits with long-term damage. I am very worried about the potential for the water to be poisoned and then it poisoning us. I’m worried for my family and I’m really scared about this.”

But, a spokesman for Third Energy said that any substances used in the fracking process would go through a rigorous approval process.

He said: "All additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process have to be approved as non-hazardous by the Environment Agency. Once approved, we will publish the names, concentrations and quantities of the additives through our website and the local media."