MP’s fracking warning after changes to licence for central Doncaster

Rosie Winterton has concerns over fracking safeguards
Rosie Winterton has concerns over fracking safeguards
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Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton has called for safeguards over fracking after a licence to drill in Doncaster was updated.

Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton has revealed she has been notified that the firm Alkane Energy has modified its licence for Doncaster Central, to include details of a site around the former Markham Main Colliiery.

But a source at Alkane said the firm did not conduct fracking, but carried out methane extraction from former colliery sites.

Mr Winterton became concerned after the licence granted to the firm, described as PEDL169. was updated to include the words “complete new seismic acquisition by June 30 2019, submit planning permission to drill a well by June 30 2021/Markham Main Coal Mine Vent field”.

Ms Winterton said: “I will be monitoring these developments very closely. It is my priority to ensure public safety and strong environmental protections are upheld.”

Ms Winterton is now raising concern over the level of safeguards for fracking, after hearing of the changes to the licence for Doncaster.

She said: “I am deeply concerned that the Government is ignoring warnings from experts on fracking, and is refusing to increase protection for the public or deliver security for the UK’s climate change targets. I and my colleagues in the Labour Party believe there should be a moratorium on fracking in Britain until we can be sure that full, rigorous environmental safeguards can be observed.”

The Government published new advice on fracking on July 7. Ms Winterton said its adviser said fracking on a significant scale was not compatible with the UK’s climate change targets unless targets including controlling methane leaks, not increasing overall gas consumption and keeping climate change targets, were met.

Plans from the firm IGas are already in place to build an exploratory well in Misson Springs, near Doncaster, in a bid to test the area’s water supply, and in doing so, its suitability for fracking.