Friday, 27 September 2013

Cuadrilla planning application: Register your views online

Cuadrilla drilling rig at Banks in Lancashire
Controversial fracking company Cuadrilla currently have an application lodged with Lancashire County Council to extend the time allowed for their exploratory testing in the borehole they have drilled in the heart of agricultural land near Singleton from 18 months to 3 years.

You can view their application on the Lancashire County Council website here. There is still time to register your views and at the foot of the page is a link where you can comment on the application, to say if you approve or object. You will need to quote Application Reference Number:  05/12/0003 and the location:  Land south of Grange Road, Singleton

You can also write to the County Council:

Environment Directorate,
Lancashire County Council,
Transport and Environment,
Development Management Group,
County Hall,
PO Box 100,
Preston PR1 0LD

Lancaster and Morecambe are supplied via our local markets with a great deal of vegetable and dairy produce from areas where fracking is now proposed, and where sites are being tested.
If the fracking is allowed, in a few years it will be exhausted and the company will have pulled out and gone. The levels of pollution and environmental damage left behind over a wide area are well-documented.

The process uses millions of gallons of concentrated toxic materials - pumping them into underground  fissures at high pressure and then attempting to extract them again.  Some of this material will inevitably result in water and land pollution.  The geological disruption can result in additional radioactive contamination of the groundwater.  The effect on the produce of the overlying agricultural land - and any land sharing water courses - may be such that, even where contamination  falls within permitted maximum levels, it will not be attractive to family markets.  This is a problem that even our great grandchildren will not see solved. They will have millions of gallons of stored toxic waste solution to look after though.

There are concerns about how we are to keep the lights on. As populations continue to soar and energy consumption per capita continues to rise, this crisis is inevitable. Fracking will not prevent it, but polluting the productive land and water resources that we live off will leave us even more ill-equipped to face it.  We need to face our energy crises by responsibly adapting to more energy-efficient cultures and production methods, rather than consolidating them with climate change, global food shortages and social instability.

It is possible that a future technology may find cleaner and more efficient ways of extracting and using shale gas resources.  It may be that our great-great grandchildren will thank us for leaving it to them to have that benefit.  The opportunity will always be there.  We should try to leave them something that is not a complete disaster.

See also previous report: Fylde fracking site hit by new earthquakes

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