West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented:
“It is a disgrace that the size of this seismic activity is being downplayed, despite the fact that it is the biggest tremor yet and shows that levels are rapidly rising!
“The regulations are clear that work should stop when tremors reach 0.5.
“The tremors hit 1.1 in October, now 1.5 which is why I have called on the Government to explain what level they are passively going to allow this seismic activity to reach before they intervene and stop it altogether, and to ensure that there is no relaxation of the traffic light system limits.
“Just pausing, then restarting work to reach ever higher levels of seismic activity is simply not acceptable and shouldn’t be tolerated.
“The Government needs to be clear, not only about stopping fracking when 0.5 tremors are caused but at what point they will stop this hydraulic fracturing taking place and in the meantime guarantee not to raise the 0.5 level triggering a ‘pause’.”
A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:
“Last night (21 Aug), local residents felt the largest earthquake yet from Cuadrilla’s operations at Preston New Road. Having abandoned their attempts to frack their first well after only being able to fully fracture just two of the planned 42 stages, Cuadrilla are now trying to repeat the process. Therefore, it was a certain grim inevitability to last night’s events, but what should really give local residents pause for thought, is the fact that these were trailing events and there is nothing that can be done to mitigate them in real-time.
“We deplore Cuadrilla’s attempts to downplay and trivialise these quakes by making facile comparisons with milkshakes and bags of shopping being dropped. This is a serious issue and we know that seismic activity at similar levels deformed the well bore at Preese Hall, which Cuadrilla failed to report to the relevant authorities for six months.
“This is, in fact, a perfect illustration of why the limits on the seismic traffic light system must not be relaxed. The safety of residents must be prioritised before a private corporation’s greedy drive for profits at any cost.”