Residents feel betrayed over failure to test for radon around Lancashire fracking site
Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. Photo: Ros Wills
People living around Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road near Blackpool say they are horrified to learn that there has been no independent testing for the radioactive gas, radon.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) has been surveying water and air quality, greenhouse gases, seismicity, ground motion and carbon dioxide in soil around the site at Little Plumpton (details).
But the organisation confirmed to DrillOrDrop that there has been no monitoring of radon in the air or homes, before operations begin at Preston New Road. It also said it was not aware of any radon monitoring in the area by other organisations.
A similar project near Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, has been monitoring for radon. It received a grant from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). But the BGS confirmed there has been no direct government funding for the Lancashire monitoring.
Neither the Fylde nor central areas of the Vale of Pickering have high radon concentrations. But monitoring would create a baseline against which data collected during drilling and fracking can be compared.
The absence of baseline radon data at Preston New Road was spotted by a resident living nearby and raised with his local MP, the Conservative Mark Menzies.