Shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla has created an online ePortal to allow the public to view the status of environmental monitoring of its drill site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton.
It said the portal design has taken into account environmental priorities set out by local people during the public consultation before the site’s planning application.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “After listening to local people’s views we are pleased to provide an easy to use online ePortal. This will allow the public access to the environmental monitoring data that we are gathering to assure the local community that our operations at Preston New Road are being conducted in an environmentally responsible manner.”
The ePortal allows users to look at data collected at a variety of monitoring stations around the site, put in place to check ground and surface water and air quality measurements, as well as information on the traffic flows of heavy goods vehicles to and from the exploration site.
Noise monitoring data will also be added on the ePortal once Cuadrilla starts drilling on the site and daily seismic monitoring data will also be viewable during fracking operations.
Information on the ePortal will be updated monthly but Cuadrilla said it would not seek to replace independent regulation and monitoring from the likes of the Environment Agency, British Geological Survey. It can be seen at https://cuadrillaresources.com/site/preston-new-road/.
Fracking opposition groups said the site’s data could not be impartial.
A spokesman from Frack Free Lancashire said: “We are delighted that Cuadrilla are acknowledging the requirement for measuring the impacts of their activities on the local community. However, we are concerned that we seem to be seeing yet another example of the regulatory bodies allowing Cuadrilla to mark their own homework.”
A spokesman from Roseacre Awareness Group said: “Residents will take a lot of convincing as Cuadrilla have a poor track record to date, with multiple planning breaches at their other sites and a failure to deliver on their promises.
"This is only a small exploratory site, with relatively low volumes and extended processes and timescales. What will happen in full-scale production?”