DECC will today publish an independent expert report recommending measures to mitigate the risks of seismic tremors from hydraulic fracturing - and is inviting public comment on its recommendations.
An effective monitoring system and a traffic light control regime are among measures recommended by the report, which has reviewed a series of studies commissioned by Cuadrilla, and confirms that minor earthquakes detected in the area of the company’s Preese Hall operations near Blackpool in April and May last year were caused by fracking.
DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor David MacKay said:
“If shale gas is to be part of the UK’s energy mix we need to have a good understanding of its potential environmental impacts and what can be done to mitigate those impacts.
“This comprehensive independent expert review of Cuadrilla’s evidence suggests a set of robust measures to make sure future seismic risks are minimised - not just at this location but at any other potential sites across the UK.”
The invitation for comment runs for six weeks from today. All comments received will be considered and taken into account before any decision is taken on further fracking for shale gas.
The report recommends the following measures to mitigate the risk of any damaging seismic activity from future shale gas operations in the Bowland Basin:
For any future operations elsewhere in the UK the review recommends suitable actions to assess the seismic risk before any operations take place.