Staff from five organisations that regulate or advise on shale gas will be answering questions about Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site at a drop-in event next month.
The organisations taking part are: The Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Oil and Gas Authority, Public Health England and Lancashire County Council.
Cuadrilla began work on construction of the site at Little Plumpton near Blackpool on Thursday 5 January. Since then there have been protests every week day.
Opponents of the work have accused Cuadrilla of breaching planning and health and safety conditions. They said the company twice closed Preston New Road, preventing access for emergency vehicles. Supporters have blamed protesters for the problems.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said today:
“As regulators and agencies involved in assessing the impacts of the oil and gas industry, our role is to help ensure that any exploration and development is done in a way that protects people and the environment.
“Construction of the site is taking place through January and February, we feel that this session will be a great opportunity for us to meet with local people to explain what we will be doing in the coming months to regulate site activities.”
The event is on Wednesday 1 February 2017, from 2pm-7pm at Wrea Green Institute, Station Road, Wrea Green, Preston, PR4 2PH.
The decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse permission to drill, frack and test for shale gas at Preston New Road was overruled by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, on the recommendation of a planning inspector. The minister’s decision is now the subject of two legal challenges.
Another challenge has been made to Mr Javid’s decision to reopen the public inquiry on Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood site after the inspector recommended refusal.