The British Geological Survey is to expand its existing national environmental monitoring programmes by carrying out independent detailed research in areas that may see shale gas exploration and production.
In a UK first, this will include independent monitoring during “fracking” if two proposed shale gas sites in Lancashire get the go-ahead.
All results of this research will be open and made freely available to the public.
The BGS has existing national environmental research programmes that include seismic and groundwater monitoring.
A spokesman for Cuadrilla, which is behind the Lancashire plans, welcomed the announcement and said the move would bring further transparency to the process.