House of Commons
FRACKING IN THE FORMER COALFIELD AREAS
EDM #1303
Tabled 22 May 2018
2017-19 Session
This this House welcomes the contribution of Professor Emeritus Peter Styles of Keele University, past-President of the Geological Society and formerly advisor on fracking seismology to Prime Minister David Cameron and the Department for the Environment and Climate Change on his new report presented to the Yorkshire Geological Society on the likely impact of fracking in former coalfield areas and the increased earthquake risks; notes Professor Styles's demonstration of the significantly enhanced risk of earthquakes posed by fracking beneath coal-mined areas where mining-induced seismicity has already occurred; further notes his conclusion that this may have a significant impact on estimates of UK frackable gas reserves; calls on the Government to introduce a 500-metre buffer zone between former mine workings and current technologies for extracting unconventional energy sources and implement the 2015 and 2018 recommendations of an 850 metre buffer zone between fracking and any significant natural fractures or faults; urges the Government to examine the industry's capability and capacity to identify faults or fractures likely to lead to any prohibited seismic events; further urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to adopt Professor Styles's best practice recommendation that planning applications for any fracking site include all available, high-resolution, carefully mapped data sets and incorporate these in the National Planning Policy Framework, with reference to applications to frack; and further calls on the Government and local authorities to place a moratorium on fracking-related activities in coalfield areas which consider Professor Styles's findings and report their conclusions.