Environment Agency confirms another rule change for Cuadrilla’s fracking site

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

As expected, Cuadrilla has been allowed to dispose of rainwater collecting on its Preston New Road fracking site in a nearby stream.

It had previously been required to send the water by tanker to an offsite treatment centre. But in a statement issued today the Environment Agency said it had agreed to a variation of the company’s environmental permit. The water can now be processed on site and then piped into the Carr Bridge Brook.

Several times last year Preston New Road was photographed with surface water flooding. In April 2017, the Environment Agency told Cuadrilla to improve its surface water management after it breached the permit conditions by allowing water from the site to reach a tributary of the Carr Bridge Brook. DrillOrDrop report

News of the permit change slipped out last month at the inquiry into Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Roseacre Wood.

The company’s barrister, Nathalie Lieven, told the hearing that the Environment Agency had issued a draft permit for treatment of surface water at Preston New Road. (DrillOrDrop report)

The company said it proposed to apply for a similar permit for the Roseacre Wood site, if planning permission were granted, allowing it to reduce the number of tanker movements.

The EA said in today’s statement:

“Cuadrilla is required to remove and process rainwater that falls on its Preston New Road site and the variation to the permit sets out the conditions that must be followed in order to manage this process.”

We’ve been unable to find details of the conditions or the reasons behind the EA’s decision.

Cuadrilla submitted a 23-document application for the permit variation in December 2017.

It said the proposed treatment plant would use a chemical-free electrocoagulation technology, capable of handling up to 10m3/hour. The company conceded that the process could change the water chemistry but said the discharged water would be monitored.

At the time of the application, Frack Free Lancashire said:

“We are highly disappointed that Cuadrilla appears to be able to move the regulatory goalposts at will. The situation seems to change on a weekly basis as they salami-slice their conditions for their own benefit.”

People who commented on the application complained about the potential impacts on wildlife and water management in surrounding fields.

The application was made days after the EA approved other changes to the permit on the volume of fracking fluid and duration of flaring. DrillOrDrop report

Last month, Cuadrilla applied for a standard rules permit for Preston New Road, described as allowing gasification, liquefaction and refining. The Environment Agency said it was not inviting comments on this application.

28 replies »

  1. I suggest you Giggle the toxins found in motorway run off water, Sherwulfe. You might have a shock.

    Gravel filters and reed beds for the piggies, plus quite a lot of roofing and guttering to remove much of the water away from becoming contaminated. Saved an awful load of diesel tankering it away. Piggy farm could re-open and three jobs re-instated. Gravity made the job a lot easier-could be a bit of a problem at PNR which will need taking into account.

    (Mind you the evil capitalists then sold the farm shortly afterwards once the value had been increased! Remind you of KM?

    • Would you be so kind as to list them here Martin and we can compare them to the flowback of a fracking rig?

      • It’s now 10:10 and no answer….
        [whistling wind and tumbleweed]
        Hello Martin, Martin [echo, echo, echo….]

  2. I have at last grasped what the Environment Agency are actually responsible for; the destruction of the Environment. I foolishly believed that with a moniker like ‘The Environment Agency’ they were responsible for safeguarding it. In fact they do far more damage than good and mostly under the radar. They take huge ‘fees’ from companies that wish to despoil our countryside; fracking companies, water companies and land management companies. If the price is right they sell our countryside’s welfare for profit. Where all of those millions go, nobody knows but its lining someone’s pockets? Raw sewage, hidden chemicals, total habitat destruction on rivers and canals and underground aquifers are all commodities to the EA that can be sold on ‘our’ behalf. They get away with it because most people are unaware of what they are guilty of.

    It’s all about money, protecting budgets and making sure that they front their environmental terrorism with a face that fools the British public into thinking they are the caretakers of our countryside. They are despicable.

  3. Tell you what, when the rain falls heavily on the Fylde Peninsula, it’s not just rainwater that will be pouring into our waterways!
    The photographer above captured the scenario perfectly!
    Latest List of the Harmed evidences the results of water contamination from fracking sites in graphic detail. Reports from Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere make it painfully obvious what fate awaits Lancashire residents should Fracking actually get started here or anywhere!

    [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

    • It is very difficult for them to generate fracking waste water when they haven’t actually fracked yet!

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