A new parliamentary group has called for evidence on how fracking could affect former coal mining areas.
The issue is to be discussed later this month by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shale Gas Impacts, chaired by Lee Rowley, the Conservative MP for North East Derbyshire.
Large areas of England’s former coalfields in the East Midlands and northern England are now licensed for shale gas exploration.
Potential risks of subsidence and seismic activity from shale gas development have been raised at inquiries into Ineos plans for the villages of Harthill in South Yorkshire and Marsh Lane in North East Derbyshire.
In an interview earlier this year with DrillOrDrop, Emeritus Professor Peter Styles raised concerns about fracking near pre-existing faults in mining areas. His report Fracking and Historic Coal Mining: Their relationship and should they coincide? mapped previously identified faults in areas near proposed shale gas exploration areas.
He is expected to give evidence to the group at the meeting scheduled for Tuesday 24 July 2018.
Written and oral submissions are invited from other potential witnesses.
The APPG said it wanted to examine:
- implications of fracking specifically on former coal mining areas
- which practical, geological or technical issues should be understood if fracking is to be conducted in former mining areas
- what research has already been conducted on this area to date
- what work the Coal Authority and other regulators have already conducted on this subject
- what recommendations may be appropriate for Government to consider for mining areas
- what evidence there already is of the impacts of drilling in former mining areas in the UK and abroad to date
Potential witnesses should contact Lee Rowley by Friday 13 July 2018.
The APPG met last month to examine the cumulative impacts of shale development. DrillOrDrop report