The Guardian reports that the Environment Agency banned Cuadrilla from using a hazardous chemical in its well at Balcombe but gave permission for another substance, despite residents’ concerns.
Chris Wick, of the Environment Agency, told a meeting of around 270 Balcombe residents the banned chemical was antimony trioxide, which is hazardous if it comes into contact with groundwater. He also confirmed that uranium was not used at the site. The Agency did, however, permit the anti-corrosion chemical oxirane, even though campaigners and villagers raised concerns about its potential hazards. According to the Guardian, Cuadrilla said oxirane was not used at Balcombe but it was unable to confirm whether the chemical had been used at other sites.
Questionmark over water use
The Environment Agency raised concerns at the meeting about the future use of water by fracking companies in south east England
Chris Wick said water use at Cuadrilla’s Balcombe site had been “relatively modest”, though no fracking had yet taken place. “The big question mark is over cumulative demand for water in the south east should this industry take on a much bigger size,” he said.