Landowners demand government action over fracking liability

21 September 2017

Private landowners concerned they are being left potentially liable if something goes wrong in the fracking process have demanded action from the Government over who should deal with the consequences. 

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has written to Fracking Minister Richard Harrington to speed up assurances which minimise the liabilities landowners face as a result of shale gas operations taking place on their land.

CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The Government has not made sufficient progress to properly tackle the long-term liability of fracking leaving landowners at risk long after drilling has stopped.

“Our members take a long-term view of land management and will continue to run businesses using land with shale gas developments on them long after an operator has left a site.  It is critical that the right protections are in place to ensure the long-term integrity of well sites and remove any risk to future use of affected land.

“It is greatly concerning that despite the acknowledged risk, the Government continues to encourage the industry to increase the number of sites in development without an adequate solution to liabilities being in place. For a government whose stated objective is to establish a world leading shale gas industry in the UK, the lack of clarity on these important issues is a major failing.”

The CLA has over the last four years consistently raised the concerns of its members with numerous Energy Ministers, officials and the industry, all of whom have acknowledged the liability issue needs addressing. To date, no solution has been provided to private landowners despite the continued growth of the UK shale gas industry.

Click here to read the letter to Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.