Cumbernauld Environmental Society announces SEPA meeting on gas extraction

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 16:16 on 3 December 2014.
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The group have made a poster to promote the event.

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CUMBERNAULD Environmental Society has confirmed that they will be holding a public meeting tomorrow evening (4 December 2014), where a representative from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency will be present to take questions on the organisation’s role in the national regulation of unconventional gas extraction.

The issue of unconventional gas extraction has been an important issue for many local residents recently – particularly after North Lanarkshire Council approved a planning application by Reach Coalseam Gas Ltd, in 2011, came to many peoples’ attention.

North Lanarkshire Council approved the planning application – which would have seen a 1,200 borehole drilled on a site near to Old Quarry Road, in Westfield. The aim of the borehole would have been to collect coals and see whether they were perspective, and perhaps had the potential for natural gas extraction.

Although Reach CSG continually denied that the process would have led to hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ – and that coalbed methane gas extraction would have been used instead – fracking has remained at the foremost of peoples’ minds. 

Fracking is the process where a borehole is drilled down to the rock-core, and the rock is fractured by the drill; high pressure water is then sent down the borehole to force the gas out of the cores and up the borehole, for extraction – with sand often being often to keep the cracks open. 

The whole process has come in for heavy public opposition, however, with claims that it leads to earthquakes, water pollution and damage to the environment – by opposition campaigners. 

In the case of Cumbernauld, it has been confirmed that no fracking will be taking place on the Old Quarry Road site, after landlords Scottish Water muted the issue, and confirmed that fracking “is not part of our activities for this site”, in a letter to Cumbernauld Environmental Society. 

The issue, however, continues to be contentious – particularly locally, after petrochemical company Ineos bought over 80 per cent of Reach CSG Ltd’s licenses to extract shale gas in the central belt of Scotland, in October 2014.

Tomorrow evening’s meeting will take place in New College Lanarkshire: Cumbernauld Campus. It will commence at 7:15pm, with any and all interested members of the public welcome to attend. 
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