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Report: Fracking causes small earthquakes

An independent report commissioned by the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change has found that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, did cause tremors in the Blackpool region in April and May 2011.

An independent report commissioned by the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change has found that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, did cause tremors in the Blackpool region in April and May 2011.

 However, it was noted that fracking should continue with monitoring, rather than calling for a ban or moratorium, due to the small magnitude of the activity.

The UK report recommended smaller pre-injection and monitoring stage for procedures, a near real-time monitoring of locations and magnitudes of seismic events and a "traffic light" control regime.

 The report says a “red light” at activity levels of magnitude of 0.5 or above means fracking should be stopped in that location and remedial action taken.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh says: "Even if an earthquake 200 times larger occurs, of magnitude 3.0, the effects at surface will just make the pictures rattle on the wall in your living room.”

Last month our government announced an official investigation into the effects of fracking, with a report due back by the end of the year.