A consultation on the use of fracking in Scotland has attracted around 60,000 responses, the First Minister has confirmed.
The public consultation on the controversial gas extraction technique closed at the end of May.
Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government remains committed to making a decision on whether or not to ban fracking by the end of this year.
A moratorium on the practice has been in place since January 2015.
Raising the issue at First Minister’s Questions, Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie said a number of studies have raised further concerns about the health impacts of the technique, including cancer risks and lung damage.
He said: “We simply can’t go on with a temporary moratorium, leaving threatened communities in limbo.
“The scale of the public response on this issue is unprecedented, and it’s clear that only a full, permanent ban will do. Greens have led the way in calling for a ban, and we will accept nothing less.”
Ms Sturgeon said responses to the consultation were in the region of 60,000, including a “considerable number” via postcard and petition campaigns.
She said: “It is important that we now properly analyse those consultation responses and use that as the factor that we will take into account when reaching a final decision.
“The reason we have taken this very cautious and precautionary approach is exactly because of those concerns that Patrick Harvie outlined.
“There are many people with a range of different concerns about fracking from environmental to health to transport.
“None of those concerns ever could or should be brushed aside, so that’s why we are taking this approach.”
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