At the end of January, Lancashire Council will make a decision on whether to approve two fracking applications that have been made by Cuadrilla for exploration within PEDL 165. This has serious consequences not only for Lancashire but for the rest of the UK, as approval there could set a precedent for the rest of the country. ‘Frack Off’ says that ‘If approved these applications would permit the first use of high volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in the UK since Cuadrilla’s first frack at Preese Hall in Lancashire in 2011 (i). Remember the earthquakes?
On 16th January the Environment Agency granted environmental permits after what it describes as a ‘rigorous assessment’ of Cuadrilla’s applications (ii). These permits will apparently ensure the safety of people, ground water and the environment from the effects of mining waste, gas flaring, radioactive material and chemical pollutants that will arise as part of the fracking process. At a time when the Government is offering assurances that fracking is a safe process, with appropriate regulations and monitoring in place, Defra plans to ‘reduce regulatory and administrative burdens’ by reducing air quality monitoring and perhaps more interestingly, proposing to abolish air quality objectives for four pollutants, two of which are of concern in fracking (iv). None of this makes sense.
You can object to Cuadrilla’s Planning Application via the following website where you will also find information about how to join the demonstration at Preston County Hall http://frackfreelancashire.org.uk/cms/?p=58