Mark Menzies MP welcomes independent shale gas monitoring

FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has called plans for independent monitoring of shale gas exploration sites by the British Geological Survey “a move in the right direction”.

Since first coming to Parliament, Mr Menzies has been pushing for independent checks and robust regulation surrounding the shale gas industry.

He today welcomed the news that the respected body will carry out on-the-ground monitoring of potential pollution and seismic activity – but added that more can be done.

The Member of Parliament added: “Since I first became involved in the shale gas debate I have been calling for an independent panel to oversee the work carried out by regulators and make sure this industry is held to the highest possible standards.

“People are obviously concerned about some of the things they have been told about this process and I was pleased to hear that senior professors and eminent scientists from the British Geological Survey will now be involved in detailed monitoring and that all their results will be transparent and published online for all to see.

“This is definitely a move in the right direction but I still want to see an overarching panel of independent experts who can look at each part of the process in detail to ensure those rigorous standards are being met.”

At the end of the month, Lancashire County Council is due to decide whether to allow two shale gas exploration sites at Roseacre Wood and Little Plumpton.

Mr Menzies added: “As someone who believes strongly in localism, it is vital that these decisions are taken by the council planning authority, whose members are well aware of all the local issues involved.

“I have made it very clear in the House of Commons that under no circumstances should anyone seek to overturn the wishes of local people at a national level.

“If, after weighing up all the evidence, the planning authority decides to refuse permission then that decision should be respected and the companies should be told to go away and think again.”

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