Politics

Water management at Cuadrilla’s Lancs fracking site a “matter of priority” – Minister

 

pnr 171025

Preston New Road shale gas site, 25 October 2017. Photo: Used with the owner’s permission

Fracking Week in Parliament

Cuadrilla has been asked to address surface water management on its site at Preston New Road, as a priority, the Environment Minister wrote last week.

In reply to a parliamentary question, Therese Coffey said Cuadrilla had been “in general” compliant with its permit conditions. But she said:

“The Environment Agency has raised concerns over the management of surface water on site and has asked the operator to address this as a matter of priority.”

171006PNRLiveStream09 iv

Eric Vaughan,Well Services Director (Left) and interviewer Jim Hancock in front of the Preston New Road rig

The issue was included in a question by the Fylde MP, Mark Menzies (below left), who asked Mrs Coffey about Cuadrilla’s compliance at Preston New Road.

Mrs Coffey (above right) added:

“The Environment Agency expects full compliance against Environmental Permits but it is not uncommon for industrial sites to have minor non-compliances after site inspections and audits.”

Mr Menzies also asked about visits by the Environment Agency to the site since July. Mrs Coffey said the EA had made 10 inspection visits. Two visits were unannounced.

  • DrillOrDrop reported last week that Cuadrilla has applied to change the terms of its environmental permit to allow it to treat and dispose of surface water from Preston New Road into a local brook. The company has breached permit conditions at the site because of surface water issues.

Shale gas and health

Steve brine mpThe Health Minister, Steve Brine (left), suggested there were no plans to update the 2014 report from a government adviser on the effect of shale gas development on public health.

Mr Brine, responding to another question Mark Menzies, said Public Health England (PHE) reviewed evidence on the health impacts of chemical and radiological emissions from shale gas as it emerged.

He said:

“Currently, PHE has not identified any significant new evidence that would make the Department change its view that the potential risks to public health from exposure to emissions associated with shale gas extraction will be low if operations are properly run and regulated.”

Mr Brine said good on-site management and appropriate regulation were essential to “minimise the risk to the environment and public”. He added:

“If significant new evidence emerged this would be discussed with the Department of Health and other Government departments.”

Sour gas at Kirby Misperton

The York Central MP, Labour’s Rachael Maskell (above left), asked about the health impacts of sour gas from Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site. Sour gas contains high levels of hydrogen sulphide.

The Energy Minister, Richard Harrington (above right), said monitoring of hydrogen sulphide levels was carried out under a planning condition ever fortnight at Kirby Misperton.

Third Energy is waiting for final approval of its plans to frack at Kirby Misperton from the Energy Secretary.

Mr Harrington said:

“The Department is carefully considering the evidence relating to the KM8 site and will respond appropriately in due course.”


Transcripts

Thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for the transcripts

Question by Mark Menzies, Conservative, Fylde

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many unannounced onsite inspections the Environment Agency has conducted at Cuadrilla Resources’ shale gas site at Preston New Road since July 2017.

Reply by Therese Coffey, ~Conservative, Suffolk Coastal, Environment Minister

There have been two unannounced visits to Cuadrilla Resources’ shale gas site at Preston New Road since July 2017.

Link to transcript 12 December 2017

Question by Mark Menzies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many onsite inspections the Environment Agency has conducted at Cuadrilla Resources’ shale gas site at Preston New Road since July 2017

Reply by Therese Coffey

There have been ten visits to Cuadrilla Resources’ shale gas site at Preston New Road since July 2017.

Link the transcript 12 December 2017

Question by Mark Menzies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Environment Agency has made of the level of compliance with relevant environmental restrictions by Cuadrilla Resources’ at its shale gas site at Preston New Road.

Reply by Therese Coffey

The Environment Agency assesses that to date Cuadrilla have been in general compliant with their permit conditions.

The Environment Agency expects full compliance against Environmental Permits but it is not uncommon for industrial sites to have minor non-compliances after site inspections and audits.

The Environment Agency has raised concerns over the management of surface water on site and has asked the operator to address this as a matter of priority.

Link to transcript 12 December 2017

Question by Mark Menzies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Environment Agency has made of the level of compliance with relevant environmental restrictions by Cuadrilla Resources’ at its shale gas site at Preston New Road.

Question by Mark Menzies

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with Public Health England on updating its report of 2014 on the effect of shale gas on public health.

Reply by Steve Brine, Conservative, Winchester

Public Health England (PHE) reviews the evidence base on the health impacts of chemical and radiological emissions associated with shale gas extraction as it emerges, considering the available evidence as a whole. Currently, PHE has not identified any significant new evidence that would make the Department change its view that the potential risks to public health from exposure to emissions associated with shale gas extraction will be low if operations are properly run and regulated. This means that good on-site management and appropriate regulation of all aspects from exploratory drilling, gas capture, use and storage of fracking fluid, and post-operations decommissioning are essential to minimise the risk to the environment and public health. If significant new evidence emerged this would be discussed with the Department of Health and other Government departments.

Link to transcript 11 December 2017

Question by Rachael Maskell, Labour, York Central,  Shadow Transport Minister

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what evidence his Department has used to make an assessment of the potential effect of hydraulic fracturing at the KM8 site on (a) public health and (b) the environment in connection with sour gas.

Reply by Richard Harrington, Conservative, Watford, Energy Minister

Hydrogen Sulphide levels are measured every 2 weeks by passive monitoring as required by Planning Condition 25 stipulated by North Yorkshire County Council. This information is provided in Third Energy’s Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Plan, a requirement of both the Environment Agency’s permit and North Yorkshire County Council planning permission conditions. Both these permissions are required before an operator can apply to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for hydraulic fracturing consent.

The Department is carefully considering the evidence relating to the KM8 site and will respond appropriately in due course.

Link to transcript 11 December 2017

12 replies »

  1. Nothing here.
    1. There was a lot of rain and the wellpad worked, though there were some minor issues that have been solved.
    2. No health issues.
    3. No H2S issues either. Drilling people worry about this and if they didnt get any when they drilled the well thats it. There isnt any. It can be dealt with anyway and biogas has LOADS of it!!

  2. Yet another Shale Gas pad that has flooded. This one in Blackpool needs shutting down the way they are allowing the surface water to run off into the field. It will be interesting to see if there have been any chemical spills mixed with it. I wouldn’t be consuming any dairy off that farmer anytime soon that’s for sure!

  3. “Yet another”, could you give us a list of the other shale gas pads that have flooded, bearing in mind that there is only one other operating in the country. Also what makes you think they are allowing the rain water to run off the pad? What chemicals do you think are mixed with the rain water?

  4. You mean the chemicals that are within their own bunds??

    Also, recent adjustments mean that water from around the drill area is draining into a sump, so basically what is left is a wet car-park, where they have submitted plans to improve water management.

    Bird’s Eye pea fields?? Really? Ermm-when are peas grown? Just a tad historic.

  5. It is in terms of Cuadrilla’s PNR site! Strangely, I would have thought facts about PNR and 2014 are not only historic but irrelevant.

    Seeing (factually) what is on view at PNR it is obvious that the water around the drilling area is indeed much more controlled than it was and it is the remaining part of the site that still shows water at times. It would appear that recent improvements have produced improvement, so it does not seem beyond the wit of man (Cuadrilla and the EA) to now achieve the same across the rest of the site but it probably can be a different solution and might allow a solution that does not require increased lorry movements.

  6. frackinglawforsale, you are wasting your time with Martin, he seems to know everything about anything! Too much time on his hand as he responds to every DoD post, must be getting paid to do so?

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