Cuadrilla warned over environment breach

Cuadrilla warned over environment breach
Cuadrilla warned over environment breach

Councillors have written to ministers and MPs over environmental licence breaches by fracking company Cuadrilla.

And the firm has been warned in a letter by the Environment Agency about breaches in how waste materials have been handled from the Preston New Road site.

The breach, the sixth Cuadrilla has had, involved drill cuttings not separated from drilling mud, fluids not being separated properly, waste transported by an unlicensed sub-contractor, waste not being accurately described and water being stored for too long by a contractor.

The report also highlighted that “significantly higher” amounts of spent fluid drilling muds had been produced on site than had been estimated in the permit.

It said 2,500m3 had been produced per well, compared with the estimate of 400m3 per well in WMP.

The three town and parish councillors, Miranda Cox, Julie Brickles and Dawn Ansell, complain that recent events have revealed serious deficiencies in the power of regulators.

They said: “The timing of this is deeply troubling given that Cuadrilla is currently preparing the site to commence fracking within the month. The government intends to take planning decisions for fracking away from local authorities and enable decisions to be fast-tracked. In our opinion, the robust regulation that we have been promised is non-existent.”

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said that the breaches were minor ones and had been sorted out immediately following ongoing liaison with the EA.

Roseacre resident Barbara Richardson said of the excess spent fluids: “If Cuadrilla got that wrong what else have they got wrong?”