UK Environment Agency To Assess Blackpool Fracking Application
Fylde residents can quiz Environment Agency officials over fracking on Monday – as the UK’s Energy Minister moved to refute safety fears about the practice.
An open day is to be held at Wesham Community Centre, Church Road, Wesham, between 2.30 and 7.30pm, on Monday, to explain the Environment Agency’s role in onshore oil and gas regulation.
It follows Cuadrilla’s applications for planning permission to drill up to four wells and test gas flow at Little Plumpton and Roseacre Wood on the Fylde.
Steve Molyneux, environment manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Our regulatory controls for onshore oil and gas are in place to protect people and the environment.
“We will assess the company’s proposals to ensure they meet our strict requirements.
“As part of our assessment, we welcome comments from the public and interested groups on local environmental factors that may be important.”
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Michael Fallon claimed there was no evidence from the United States of underground water being contaminated as a result of “fracking”.
He insisted that because hydraulic fracturing for shale gas takes place deeper beneath the Earth’s surface than groundwater levels, gasses cannot escape into the water and contaminate it.
His comments come despite numerous reports of possible gas contamination of groundwater in the US, where fracking is now widespread.
Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex pressed him in the Commons to set up baseline monitoring of methane gas levels in groundwater before fracking starts to allow checks to be made for pollution if and when production begins.