Brine concerns to be discussed at Fleetwood tonight

The BrineWatch buoy has been put in place where the brine outfall pipe will discharge at Rossall, Fleetwood.
The BrineWatch buoy has been put in place where the brine outfall pipe will discharge at Rossall, Fleetwood.

Environmental campaigners are holding a public meeting in Fleetwood tonight about controversial proposals to dump potentially toxic brine into the Irish Sea at Rossall.

The brine deposits - at the rate of 80,000 cubic metres every day for 10 years - are to be pumped out of a purpose built pipe, one-and-a-half miles out to sea, as part of the equally controversial £660 million gas storage scheme being developed at Preesall by energy firm Halite.
Halite’s energy scheme will see 900 million cubic metres of gas being stored in salt cavers under the River Wyre at high pressure, and displaced salt will be carried along the pipe in water taken from the Fish Dock and deposited into the sea as brine.
But there are fears the increased saline levels could kill marine life.
And as part of its ongoing activities, the group BrineWatch has now placed a bright red buoy directly where the pipe will empty, to help pinpoint exactly where monitoring needs to take place.
Drilling of the salt caverns and laying of the brine outfall pipe is expected to begin in the summer of 2020.

BrineWatch, made up of concerned Fylde coast residents, will hold the public meeting at Fleetwood's North Euston Hotel , beginning at 7pm, to discuss the issue.
Dave Eccles of BrineWatch said: "Our aim is to form groups to investigate each area of this proposal in detail so we can fully understand and monitor the effects this will have on the future.
"We ask residents to come along to the public meeting, learn more about the proposals, ask questions, and hopefully offer help.

"Their support is vital if we are to stop this."


But Halite chief executive Keith Budinger says the brine proposals have been given the green light by the Environment Agency, Natural England, and the Marine Management Organisation, and says similar projects in other parts of the world have not caused problems.

He adds that the gas storage scheme itself and and the brine operation will be carried out to exacting specifications.

Residents wanting to help or find out more about BrineWatch should visit www.facebook.com/brinewatch.