DART INQUIRY: Professor warns of earthquake dangers

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A retired geology professor claims plans to extract coal bed methane on a commercial scale from land near Airth could lead to earthquakes in the area.

Professor David Smythe told the public inquiry into the planning application by Dart Energy to develop the site at Letham Moss that an earthquake under the River Forth near Alloa in 1977 had registered 2.6 on the Richter Scale and one of that magnitude on the Dart Energy site would cause “significant damage” to underground workings.

At the third day of the inquiry in Grangemouth’s Inchyra Grange Hotel the professor, who is providing objectors Concerned Communities of Falkirk with scientific evidence he says supports their case for the planning bid to be refused, listed over a dozen concerns he had about the scheme.

Professor Smythe, who also said that if he had charged for his professional expertise over the last seven years his fees would have been £100,000, added: “Coal bed methane is untried hydrocarbon technology and Dart Energy has a poor understanding of the geology and the risk.”




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