West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has called on the new Prime Minister and Government to reaffirm their commitment to the current traffic light system, which regulates at what level of magnitude fracking companies may operate.
The traffic light system, introduced in 2011, ensures that where seismic activity reaching 0.5 magnitude is detected, local fracking operations must cease and specific investigations carried out.
It is reported that the largest ever tremor, reaching over 1.5 magnitude, was detected at the Preston New Road site yesterday evening, and operations remain halted this morning.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has consistently opposed fracking in Lancashire, sought assurances from Ministers over the traffic light system, and even called for all fracking to be halted at the site and an immediate moratorium in late 2018.
MP Rosie said:
“With the new Prime Minister in place and Ministers taking up their posts, it is now the right time to seek reassurances on the commitments made by previous Energy Ministers that there will be no dilution of the existing traffic light system to allow fracking to take place at higher magnitude levels.
“I find it remarkable that despite the clear rejection of fracking by the people of Lancashire, and the numerous warnings that drilling would cause seismic activity, the Government decided it would push fracking through and impose it on the residents of Lancashire against their will with scant regard for local residents’ concerns.
“We now see earthquakes increasing in size as the work continues, and no doubt as soon as the 18-hour window has passed and the investigations are completed, they will be back fracking, risking further seismic activity.
“I have written to the new Prime Minister the new Energy Secretary to seek their reassurances over the traffic light system and to reconsider Government’s policy to allow fracking and asking at what level of seismic activity will it order fracking to stop not just pause!
“I still believe that it is just and right for the Government to halt fracking at this site, and to place a moratorium on fracking until such point as they can be not just reassured, but fully assured, that there will be no more man-made earthquakes in England or Wales as a result of fracking.
“If they cannot be assured of that, then for that reason and so many more, this Government needs to steal another of Labour’s Manifesto pledges and ban fracking immediately.”