Fracking Confirmed as Cause of Canadian Earthquake
Officials have confirmed that an earthquake in British Columbia measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale was caused by fracking. The earthquake struck 110km north west of Fort St John on August 17th and is thought to be the largest associated with fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing in Canada.
The event was big enough to shake trucks and power poles on the site, fracking has been stopped pending the drawing up of a mitigation plan. John Cassidy, a seismologist with the Geological Survey of Canada said; “The overall pattern is that there’s an increase in the number of induced earthquakes – and there is an overall or average increase in the magnitude as well.”
Before fracking began in North East British Columbia, 24 incidents were recorded in 2002-03 compared to 189 in 2010-11 when the industry had been established. The news comes at the same time as MP’s have voted to allow fracking under Britain’s national parks. A majority of 37 passed a statutory instrument pushing through the new rules without the requirement for a debate in the house. Drilling will now be allowed 1,200 metres below national parks and other sites of scientific interest provided it starts outside of the protected areas.
In a statement, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said; “The UK has one of the best track records in the world for protecting our environment while developing our industries – these regulations will get this vital industry moving while protecting our environment and people.” There is a moratorium on fracking in Scotland and Wales but parliament voted against a similar measure being introduced in England back in January.