Scottish ministers will be ready to set out their finalised policy on fracking by spring 2019, MSPs have been told. A moratorium on the controversial process has been in place since 2015, and the government said in October 2017 that it backed an “effective ban”. However after a legal challenge the government’s lawyers then argued in court that this was a PR “gloss”, and they had “not yet adopted a position”. A fresh consultation on environmental assessments has now been launched.
BBC 23rd Oct 2018 read more »
Scotsman 23rd Oct 2018 read more »
Herald 24th Oct 2018 read more »
Fracking operations in Lancashire have been shut down after seismic activity was detected. The move came a little more than a week after the process was restarted in the UK for the first time since it was banned in 2011. Cuadrilla Resources, which is carrying out the operations at its Preston New Road site, confirmed it paused work early on Tuesday as a precaution because of the microseismic event, which was measured at a magnitude of 0.4 and within the limit allowed by UK authorities. “This is an extremely low level of seismicity, far below what could possibly be felt at the surface but classed as an amber event as part of the traffic light system in place for monitoring operational activity,” the company said on Tuesday evening.
Guardian 23rd Oct 2018 read more »
High levels of a chemical found in oil and gas waste have been identified in shellfish living downstream from past fracking waste disposal sites. Freshwater mussels filter water to feed. As they do so, they accumulate substances in their hard shells, effectively providing a record of any contaminants entering the water. Researchers studying these creatures in Pennsylvania found strontium in their shells, a discovery they say demonstrates the long-lasting effects fracking can have on surrounding environments. After scientists found that wastewater was contaminating waterways with toxic and naturally-occurring radioactive elements, the Pennsylvania authorities called on the industry to begin recycling its waste in 2011. However, the mussels analysed by a Pennsylvania State University team still bore evidence of the three-year fracking boom that preceded those restrictions, when 2.9 billion litres of wastewater were dumped in the state’s rivers.
Independent 23rd Oct 2018 read more »