The Conservative-led council in the area of Cuadrilla’s shale gas site has called on regulators to ban local fracking immediately on safety grounds.
Fylde Borough Council backed a motion which said the shale gas industry had “not been able to clearly demonstrate” it could “guarantee public safety”.
It urged the government to uphold “stringent regulations” on the shale gas industry and for the regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority to “ensure all hydraulic fracturing operations in Fylde cease with immediate effect”.
The motion, introduced by Cllr Roger Lloyd, was prompted by more than 130 tremors caused by fracking at the Preston New Road site near Blackpool, including one measuring 2.9ML.
The 2.9 tremor, the UK’s largest fracking-induced seismic event, was felt across the Fylde region on 26 August 2019. DrillOrDrop understands about 100 people have made complaints to Cuadrilla about damage to their homes.
The industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, has suspended fracking at Preston New Road and the operation cannot resume there until an investigation has concluded.
Cuadrilla has described its Preston New Road site as “highly regulated, well run and entirely safe”. It announced recently that there would be no more fracking at Preston New Road before a planning deadline at the end of November. Flow tests are currently underway.
Cuadrilla’s previous fracking operations at Preston New Road in autumn 2018 and at Preese Hall in 2011 also caused earth tremors.
Cllr Lloyd’s motion said:
“In view of the recent and past seismic activity near the Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site which has seen universal condemnation of Cuadrilla’s activities, I propose that this Council urge central government to stop all further Fracking activities in the Fylde with immediate effect.
“This operation has repeatedly shown itself to be an unsafe industry and that Fylde residents and their properties are quite clearly at risk if operations at Preston New Road continue.”
This was later amended and the approved motion read:
“Following recent and past seismic activity at Cuadrilla Resources’ site on Preston New Road, this council calls upon the Government to ensure the safety of Fylde coast residents by continuing to uphold the stringent regulations currently in place on the Shale Gas industry. The industry has not been able to clearly demonstrate it can operate within these parameters and guarantee public safety, therefore this Council also calls upon the Oil & Gas Authority to ensure all hydraulic fracturing operations in Fylde cease with immediate effect.”
Updated 18/10/2019 to include amended motion