Cuadrilla Resources has apologised to residents after last week’s tremor and begun investigating whether it may have damaged homes. The oil and gas explorer said it was “aware of the concern” of those who felt the minor earthquake close to its Preston New Road site near Blackpool, Lancashire. It has repeatedly called for seismic safety limits on fracking to be eased but appeared to acknowledge on Saturday night that fracking within existing limits might have resulted in damage to a small number of nearby homes. The 2.9-magnitude tremor was 25 times bigger than the maximum Cuadrilla predicted its work might cause, of 1.5, and occurred despite rules that force engineers to pause work after exceeding 0.5 magnitude. Cuadrilla has previously said the seismic limits are too conservative and could be raised without a risk of damage. It is understood that it still wants a review of them.
Times 2nd Sept 2019 read more »
An environmental group has been forced to withdraw its legal challenge to a wide-ranging injunction by the fracking firm Cuadrilla after being “priced out of court”. Three fracking protesters are facing court action after the energy company obtained the injunction restricting protests at its shale gas exploration site in Lancashire. The protesters, Katrina Lawrie, 41, Christopher Wilson, 55, and Lee Walsh, 44, were due to be supported by Friends of the Earth (FoE) in their bid to vary the terms of the injunction order. However, the environmental group said it has been frozen out of court proceedings after a high court judge refused to grant any costs protection. FoE had applied for financial protection on the basis that it was a public interest litigant. In environmental judicial reviews, a cap on legal costs is available and cost protection may also be obtained in non-environmental judicial reviews. However, a high court judge ruled that cost protection was unavailable on the basis that the case was private litigation between private parties. This meant if FoE lost the case it could face an £85,000 legal bill. The group said this was a financial risk it could not afford. The FoE campaigner Dave Timms said: “This ruling is a blow for civil liberties and access to justice.
Guardian 1st Sept 2019 read more »