Packed Parish Council Meeting

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Tarporley and District U3A
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Seismic testing

The Parish Council Meeting on Monday (October 26th) was attended by 58 members of the public most of whom had come to hear the talk by representatives of Tesla and IGas about the seismic testing to be undertaken in Tarvin Parish although a significant number of those in attendance were from outside the Parish.

The meeting and the public session started before the arrival of Dave Hounds from Tesla and Gordon Grant from IGas at 7.30. The chair took note of a wide variety of questions that were then put to the two guests. The questions fell into a number of categories:

— Lack of communications about the proposed survey. This includes the lack of direct communications through the door of those affected, and the lack of precise information about the timing and location of tests.

— Lack of response by the companies to individual enquiries by telephone and email

— Concerns about the possible damage to properties from the testing.

— Concerns about the timing and range of the publication of testing results.

— There were also a number of questions about the fracking process including the independence of the industry inspectors, the toxicity of the chemicals used, the effect on the rural transport network and the size and geographical spread of production sites.

— The question was also asked if IGas would respect local wishes and not test/drill in areas where local opposition was strongly in the majority.

The questions posed were noted by both IGas and the Parish Council. Questions not answered at the meeting were to be sent in writing to the company and all replies are to be published on Tarvin On-Line.

The Tesla engineer explained that the company carried out 3-dimensional geological surveys that indicated the underlying rock structures. They detonated 500gr charges at a depth of 8 metres which gave a 3 km spread of reflected seismic waves. It was rare, though not unknown, for the shock waves to be more than just a dull 'thump'. No explosions took place within 50 metres of any residential structure and were controlled by regulations laid down by the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and others. Any damage proved to have occurred from the testing would be paid for. The testing in the Tarvin area should be completed by mid-November. Landowners were not given information on exact testing times.

Gordon Grant explained the extensive leafleting and social media campaign that IGas had undertaken but accepted that it had not been comprehensive enough. He explained that, should the testing results warrant it, the next step was to apply for planning permission to drill a test well. At this stage, the company followed all the legal planning procedures available, including appeals. He did confirm that the company were looking to find 'all hydrocarbons' and referred people to the website www.talkaboutshale.com He agreed to answer all other questions in writing and offered another public meeting with IGas technical staff if required.

The majority of the public left after the one hour public session concluded. The Parish Council agreed to request a further public meeting immediately should a planning application for a test well in the Parish be received.

The meeting was filmed by a member of the public and has since been uploaded onto YouTube