An amendment could be added to the Infrastructure Bill to ensure landowners are not left liable if something goes wrong with fracking, following pressure from the Country Land and Business Association.
The CLA has lobbied the government for a number of months over the issue as liability was omitted from the government’s response to the fracking consultation.
See also: CLA attacks government’s fracking plans
The House of Lords is due to debate a government amendment to the Bill on Wednesday (19 November) confirming the landowner will not be liable for any loss or damage resulting from fracking unless that loss or damage is the result of their deliberate omission.
CLA president Henry Robinson said: “We have had major concerns over the government’s seeming indifference to the potential liabilities facing landowners if anything goes wrong in the fracking process, particularly once a well has been abandoned.
“We are relieved that after months of CLA lobbying the government has listened and addressed this important issue.
“However, we still have concerns over the government’s proposals that fracking companies will be able to drill under people’s land as well as the presumption that they have the right to exploit geothermal heat.”
The CLA president is due to meet Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister Matt Hancock to discuss shale gas and fracking on 27 November.