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East Lancashire's fracking sites on official map
A NEW government map yesterday confirmed that East Lancashire could see ‘fracking’ for shale gas.
The guide, showing that two-thirds of England could see the process, caused green campaigners to claim much of the county was at risk.
The area earmarked for possible hydraulic fracturing of shale rock includes areas identified in June by the British Geological Survey as sitting on gas reserves.
It brings closer the prospect of fracking along the M65 corridor north of Blackburn through Burnley to Colne and the Rossendale Valley.
New fracking licences, currently only granted near Blackpool, will be issued in the spring with parcels of East Lancashire land on offer.
Publishing its ‘regulatory roadmap’ setting out the permits developers need before drilling, Energy Minister Michael Fallon stepped up government support for the controversial process.
He said the report showed large-scale production could create thousands of jobs and give almost £1billion to local communities.
It admits high production could adversely impact communities, through traffic congestion, fumes and pressure on water supplies.
Mr Fallon said: “There could be large amounts of shale gas available in the UK, but we won’t know for sure the scale until further exploration. This marks the next step in unlocking the potential of shale gas. It is an exciting prospect.”
Friends of the Earth regional energy campaigner Helen Rimmer said: “This report will cast a dark shadow over many communities The government has admitted fracking could cause significant adverse environmental impacts.”
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