MP’s bid to stop fracking companies causing earthquakes

Lee Rowley,
Lee Rowley,

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley is introducing a bill to Parliament in a bid to stop fracking companies causing earthquakes in areas in which they operate.

The Fracking (Seismic Activity) Bill aims to ensure that the current ‘Traffic Light System’ – used to monitor and stop earthquakes which can be felt on the surface – will be upgraded from regulation which can be amended at any time to statutory legislation.

READ MORE: Fracking campaigners warn company behind Derbyshire plans: “We are ready”

The regulation forces fracking companies to suspend operations if a seismic event of over 0.5 magnitude occurs.

This news follows calls from the fracking industry to relax regulations to allow fracking to continue following >0.5 magnitude earthquakes.

Industry giant Ineos has been granted permission to drill for shale gas reserves in Mr Rowley’s constituency – on land off Bramley Moor Lane, Marsh Lane, near Eckington –following a public inquiry last year.

Mr Rowley said: “Recently, fracking companies have been warning that the industry could be unworkable in the UK unless regulations are relaxed.

“These regulations were put in place for a reason – to protect the communities who have to live with fracking.

“More importantly the industry themselves agreed to the regulations when first implemented so they can’t come back and demand a change whenever it suits them. I will be introducing a Bill to Parliament, which, if successful, will enshrine into law the seismic regulations that were created to protect us.

“This is just the first stage in a long process to create a law and I can’t make any promises that it will succeed. But, we need to make it clear that if fracking cannot succeed under current seismic limits then it’s tough luck.”

The Fracking (Seismic Activity) Bill will be introduced to the House of Commons on March 19.

Eckington Against Fracking is continuing to campaign against the proposals stating impact on greenbelt land, highways and noise.