Two more breaches of permit rules at Cuadrilla fracking site

181018 pnr Eddie Thornton 3

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool Photo: Eddie Thornton, 18 October 2018

The Environment Agency (EA) has reported two minor breaches of the Cuadrilla’s environmental permit when it carried out a site visit at Preston New Road in October.

The findings, published in the agency’s Community Update for the site, follow  seven permit breaches during 2017.

The first breach came to light on October 19th after measurements close to the site boundary recorded low levels of methane.  The levels were significantly below anything which could affect human health or risk an explosion.

EA inspectors determined that the problem was caused by the use of non-enclosed storage tanks to hold fluid returned to the surface.

Cuadrilla had said it did not expect methane in the flowback fluid. But the EA said the action breached section 4.5 of the Waste Management Plan which states that:

“Flow back shall be stored at the surface in enclosed steel containers on top of the well pad membrane and within the perimeter fence line.”

The incident was classed as a level 4 breach, the least serious in the four-step Compliance Classification Scheme.

The EA asked Cuadrilla for more details on the tanks being used, including their configuration, use and control. This has now been provided and the report stated:

“The Environment Agency has been reassured by Cuadrilla that no further release from these tanks has been recorded.”

The second breach related to a flow meter, used for measuring the volume and rate of injection of frack fluid into the well.

EA inspectors found that the meter did not have the correct certifications. After receiving further information, the EA agreed with Cuadrilla that the meter was performing at the required level. This incident was also given the lowest Category 4 rating.


Environment Agency Citizen Space web page for Preston New Road

20 replies »

  1. Don’t forget the first two overnight, curfewed convoys that entered PNR carrying the drilling rig and ancillary equipment.

    Comprising of a total of over 20 Hgvs each committing breaches of planning conditions by entering and then leaving the fracking site during hours of curfew, compounded by some committing illegal right turns in the process, over 60 breaches in total.

    No neaningful action against the drivers or the fracking company Cuadrilla who organised this action, knowing full well it was against the rules of their permit, was taken by the planning authorities. Lancashire Constabulary even agreed to escort the convoys therefore facilitating the breaches!

    That is when it became apparent the Establishment intended to conspire against the Community and it would take more than legal peaceful protest to save our Environment and our children’s future.

    Fortunately a combination of Cuadrilla’s proven track record of failure, the traditionally wet and windy weather around here, lot’s of raising awareness by presence outside the site entrance, non-stop legal actions and finally the fragility of the faulted geology of the Fylde seem to have done the job!

    Here’s to a totally Frack Free New Year!

    • Oh yes, sorry!

      Great thanks also to:

      The massive amount of work done by the drone masters to record, study and publish the devastating results on the environment of the pathetic attempts to drill for and extract shale gas so far.

      The thousands of letters, emails and Freedom of Information requests written to those supposed to be protecting our health, wealth and happiness which have exposed their incompetence and complicity in this developing scandal!

      The Public Figures and honourable Politicians who have stood alongside Environment Protectors at all the intended fracking sites nationwide and demanded/promised that this evil, toxic process be halted.

  2. So are they still storing flow back fluid in open storage tanks now they can expect methane to be present or are EA just letting them off with further methane escapes? It all adds up to climate change as methane is the most potent greenhouse gas!
    And is the flow meter now certified or are EA just letting them get away with yet another environmental breach (thanks to Peter Roberts above for totalling them up for us)?What has actually been done to prevent recurrence of these breaches – seems clear from this report that EA just accept whatever Cuadrilla say?

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