UK-focused shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources is a step closer to beginning fracking operations in the northwest of England after Lancashire County Council formerly validated and accepted an application to drill in the county, the firm announced Wednesday.
The planning application, to drill up to four shale gas exploration wells at Preston New Road, and its accompanying environmental statement is now accessible to the public. Cuadrilla said the environmental statement details the findings of an "extensive" environmental impact assessment of the sites, which was carried out by experts at independent consultant Arup.
Arup Project Director Des Correia commented in a statement:
"The work we've undertaken for both the environmental impact and environmental risk assessments has been tremendously comprehensive. We've been using best practice standards throughout our work and we’ve covered a full exploration life-cycle as well as considering cumulative impacts in both our scope and analysis work.
“Our approach throughout has been one of absolute thoroughness – we've undertaken in excess of 100 site visits and our work has ranged from anticipating potential impacts to developing mitigation strategies, and we’re pleased to have been able to draw on a huge range of expertise – some 25 different disciplines have been involved, including seismic interpretation and monitoring and well integrity."
Cuadrilla Chief Executive Francis Egan added:
"We've been working hard to take on board feedback received during our extensive consultation with local residents, community groups and broader stakeholders, and I am very grateful to those people who gave us their comments. Where it has been reasonably practical to do so, we have amended our plans to incorporate feedback and suggestions, which is reflected in the materials that have gone live today."
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