Today Wyre & Preston North MP Ben Wallace welcomed plans by the British Geological Survey (BGS) to carry out independent detailed research in areas of the UK that may see shale gas exploration and production.
In a UK first, this will include independent monitoring during hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) subject to planning approvals at two proposed shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire. All results of this research will be open and made freely available to the public.
Mr Wallace said, "I welcome the announcement from the BGS, given the wild and scaremongering misinformation put out by the more extreme anti-frack and anti-globalisation protesters it will be reassuring to many that they will be able to engage directly with real scientific experts on the issue."
As part of the enhanced research programme, groundwater, regional air quality, seismicity and ground movements will be independently monitored at two proposed hydraulic fracturing sites in Lancashire. This will be carried out by a UK consortium led by the BGS with university partners (Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Loughborough and Manchester). This work is different to the operator’s own monitoring and that required by the regulator. It is designed to enhance the scientific understanding and knowledge of the effects of shale gas operations on the environment and support peer reviewed science.