A group of Lancashire residents handed a letter to Cuadrilla’s headquarters this morning requesting a permanent end to fracking at the company’s shale gas site near Blackpool.
The industry regulator suspended fracking at Preston New Road yesterday morning when operations caused the UK’s strongest fracking-induced tremor. The event, measuring 2.9ML, shook buildings across the Fylde region.
Since Cuadrilla resumed fracking nearly a fortnight ago, there have been more than 100 tremors. Two of the most recent, at 7.55am today (0.5ML) and 22.18pm yesterday (1.0ML), were again felt by people living near the site. (See DrillOrDrop’s PNR tremor tracker 2019)
Today’s letter, addressed to Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said the impacts of the site had “reached an intolerable level”:
“We are now horrified by the quantity and magnitude of induced seismic activity and earthquakes over a very short time frame.”
Opponents of fracking have welcomed the temporary halt ordered yesterday by the Oil & Gas Authority. But the letter suggested this was not enough:
“We do not accept that fracking will ever be safe or can be regulated effectively.”
Cuadrilla, which uses the slogan “Putting Lancashire First”, has been seeking a relaxation in the seismicity regulations, known as the traffic light system. It is also applying for more time to drill and frack two more wells at Preston New Road.
The letter urged Mr Egan:
“If you really want to “put Lancashire first” you should leave us alone and seek no further changes to the Traffic Light System or seek any extension to your planning permission.”
It also referred to a 2.3ML tremor, induced by Cuadrilla’s fracking at another Lancashire site eight years ago, as well as the company’s revisions of its permissions and appeals against refusals of planning consent:
“We have endured enough, emotionally and financially, from the Preese Hall earthquakes in 2011, through to the numerous appeals and legal challenges, to the current intolerable situation we now face.
“We are not a sacrifice zone and do not accept that any potential economic benefits outweigh our welfare. Our environment and health must be paramount.”
A spokesperson for the residents said:
“Public confidence in fracking is at an all-time low. Residents have absolutely had enough of the spin, lies and ridiculous comparisons of earthquakes to fruit and household items.
“Our lives and wellbeing should be prioritised over a private company’s financial gain.”
DrillOrDrop invited Cuadrilla to comment to the contents of the letter. This article will be updated with any response.