Fracking safety fears for former coal-mining areas of Yorkshire taken to Government regulator

Concerns about the safety of conducting fracking in former coal-mining areas of Yorkshire have been taken to the Government’s regulator in charge of overseeing the development of the shale gas industry.

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron has met with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and written to the organisation to ask whether research has been commissioned into how the process of extracting shale gas hundreds of feet underground using a high-pressure water and chemical mixture on rocks will work in areas where there are believed to be abandoned coal mine workings under domestic dwellings.

Mr Barron, himself a former coal miner, whose constituency in South Yorkshire includes two areas where planning applications have been submitted for exploration work to assess the feasibility of fracking, said: “Both the sites in Rother Valley at Harthill and Woodsetts are based around old coal mine workings with many of the abandoned coal mine workings under domestic dwellings. “Many residents have contacted me worried that this has not been properly looked into and it could cause major damage to their homes or surrounding areas.”

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Derbyshire county council to oppose ‘listening well’ plans by fracking firm Ineos

Derbyshire County Council is to oppose plans by energy firm Ineos to erect a 60 metre high drilling rig to test the suitability of the site for fracking, after rejecting the recommendation of its own officers. The authority’s planning committee today voted nine to one in favour of a motion objecting to an application in the village of Marsh Lane, between Sheffield and Chesterfield.

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