Second tremor in two months shakes local confidence
View from Blackpool
Wednesday 01 June 2011
Residents of Lancashire, somewhat unsurprisingly, do not want to live in an earthquake zone. The idea then that the recent rise in seismic activity may be linked to the beginning of "fracking" in the area has prompted concern.
"Links between gas fracking, which is cracking up the underground structure, and the quake need looking at," demanded Alistair Parker, from the market town of Poulton, where an earthquake struck in early April. "We only have their word for the extent of the effects they are creating."
Green Party organiser Philip Mitchell said: "The sense of local unease has increased further since reports of a second earthquake in the area close to the drilling at Singleton and Weeton. That has led people to question whether there is indeed a link between fracking and earthquakes."
The risks of fracking shot to public attention when the US documentary Gasland was nominated for an Oscar. The film showed water contaminated with gas in areas where widescale fracking was taking place. Homeowners held matches to their tap water, causing it to ignite.
In addition to fizzing and bubbling with gas, the water tasted metallic and looked brown, residents complained. Pat Farnelli, a Pennsylvania woman, said: "Everyone was sick, including me. Our stomachs were really playing up – we couldn't handle anything." The documentary argues that only half of the waste water that goes into the ground comes back up.
Mr Mitchell added: "The potential risk to our drinking water, our communities and our countryside from what are essentially chemical and mining operations on a massive scale is far too great to give this industry a go-ahead."
Despite the suspension, Cuadrilla Resources, the company behind the exploration for shale gas on the Fylde Coast, has confirmed that it plans to start drilling near Hesketh Bank, close to Preston, next month.
Residents and environmental groups believe there is the potential for water and air contamination. One resident told the Lancashire Evening Post: "You do not have to look too far to find stories of chemicals seeping into water supplies and explosions."
Jennifer Banks, of WWF-UK, said the charity would welcome further investigation into fracking.
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations and public dissection of marriage to Charles Saatchi
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: PHP Deve...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...