Damning Fracking Report Delivered to the Archbishop Of Canterbury
May 24 , 2017 Posted By : Talk Fracking
The Grim Reaper and Dame Vivienne Westwood visited the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury to deliver a damning report commissioned by Talk Fracking, called ‘Whitehall’s Fracking Science Failure’. Our report proves that the MacKay-Stone report is riddled with false and out of date input data. The input data used in this report is clearly inconsistent with published, publicly available data. The inconsistencies should have been highlighted to Ministers by government advisors immediately upon publication.
The Conservatives and The Church of England for some time have been singing off the same hymn sheet citing the Tory commissioned MacKay-Stone report as their reason to frack England. Dame Vivienne Westwood met with representatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury urging him, “Do not allow the Church of England to be suckered into the Tories grizzly agenda to Frack our Green and Pleasant Land, which is about to be turned into a toxic pin cushion”.
Our report exposes the MacKay-Stone report as a dodgy dossier, and England must at the very least follow Scotland and Wales with an immediate moratorium on fracking. Given this evidence, any other position would be highly irresponsible.
Environmental Impact Figures Are Up To 400 Times Worse Than Reported:
The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, has published environmental monitoring data from its Preston New Road site near Blackpool.
A website, described as an e-portal, gives details of measurements of the quality of air and ground and surface water from monitoring stations around the site. There is also information about the times that heavy goods vehicles enter and leave the site.
Campaign groups opposed to operations at Preston New Road described the portal as a PR exercise and said they had no reason to trust Cuadrilla.
The portal is currently showing data January 2017 (when site work began at Preston New Road), as well as February and March 2017. Cuadrilla said the information would be updated monthly. See the final section of this post for some of the findings.
The company said data on noise would be added when drilling began, expected by June 2017, and seismic monitoring when fracking started.
“Local concerns shaped site”
Cuadrilla said the design took into account the views of local people consulted during the planning process for the site.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:
“After listening to local people’s views we are pleased to provide an easy to use online ePortal. This will allow the public access to the environmental monitoring data that we are gathering to assure the local community that our operations at Preston New Road are being conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. We are the first onshore oil and gas operator in the UK to launch an initiative such as this.”
The pro-fracking group, Backing Fracking, tweeted:
“What an excellent idea: @CuadrillaUK is making environmental monitoring data available online via an ePortal.”
“No reason to trust Cuadrilla”
Frack Free Lancashire responded to the website:
“We are delighted that Cuadrilla are acknowledging the requirement for measuring the impacts of their activities on the local community. However, we are concerned that we seem to be seeing yet another example of the regulatory bodies allowing Cuadrilla to mark their own homework.
“This appears to be yet another PR exercise to try to convince the public that they are trustworthy. It is now five months since Cuadrilla announced that they would be updating a “community tracker” every three months, yet the last update was on November 30th.
“Based on their performance so far, we have no reason to trust Cuadrilla’s half-hearted attempts to portray themselves as a concerned and responsible operator”
Roseacre Awareness Group said:
“Residents will take a lot of convincing as Cuadrilla have a poor track record to date, with multiple planning breaches at their other sites and a failure to deliver on their promises. Confidence and trust in them is very low.
“This is only a small exploratory site, with relatively low volumes and extended processes and timescales. What will happen in a full-scale production scenario with hundreds of super pads, with thousands of wells, all across the country being drilled by many different, and possibly less responsible, operators? This is a densely populated country and any environmental impacts could have a devastating impact.
“Accidents will happen. No amount of monitoring can prevent earthquakes, blow outs, spillages, etc.
“The bottom line is onshore unconventional fossil fuel extraction is not compatible with our Paris climate change agreement no matter how Cuadrilla ‘dress it up’. Scientists say fossil fuels should be left in ground and we should be investing in clean renewable energy.”
According to the data on the portal, the highest number of heavy goods vehicles visiting the site so far has been in February, followed by January and March.
The data suggests that as work has progressed at Preston New Road Road, HGVs have been arriving and leaving earlier. HGV movements also appear to have become more spread out throughout the day.
The traffic management plan requires Cuadrilla to register and record all HGV arrivals and departures in half-hour periods. The data, however, is provided in hour slots. It is, therefore, not possible to see from the e-portal if any vehicles arrived before 7.30am or after 6.30pm. These are the time limits set in condition 19 of the planning permission.
According to the portal, particulates at one of the monitoring stations exceeded the baseline figure in March for two types of particulates PM2.5 and PM10. The baseline is described as the peak reading for the same monitoring locations from May 2014-May 2015.
Based on Cuadrilla’s charts, the baseline for PM2.5 is about 13ug/m3 but measurements in March were more than 25ug/m3. The measurement for MP10 in March was about 42ug/m3, compared with a baseline reading of about 41. All the other measurements were below the baseline.
Surface and ground water
In January, the level of diesel at on of the surface water monitoring stations was above the baseline. And in March, methane in groundwater at one monitoring station in the geological strata, Middle Sands, was almost at the peak baseline readings. All the other measurements were below the baseline.
Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, 11 April 2017. Photo: Ros Wills
In a brief court hearing at 9.30 this morning, the High Court judge Sir Ian Dove dismissed two legal challenges to the ministerial approval of Cuadrilla’s plans for fracking at a site in Lancashire.
Sir Ian Dove ruled that the decision by the Communities’ Secretary, Sajid Javid, to grant planning permission for the site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, was lawful.
The challenges were brought by Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and an individual anti-fracking campaigner, Gayzer Frackman.
The PNRAG challenge argued that Mr Javid had unlawfully and unfairly misinterpreted local and national planning policies. These polices had been used by Lancashire County Council as reasons for the refusal of planning permission for Preston New Road in June 2015.
Mr Frackman argued that Mr Javid’s decision was unlawful because it failed to take into account some greenhouse gas emissions from the site and gaps in shale gas regulation.
At the end of an 82-page ruling, Sir Ian concluded that all the grounds in the case made by the Preston New Road Action Group were arguable. But he dismissed them all because he said they were not substantiated.
He said the climate change ground of Mr Frackman’s challenge was arguable though not substantiated, while the other ground was not arguable.
Mr Javid granted planning permission for the Preston New Road site on 6 October 2016, following the recommendation of an inspector at a 19-day public inquiry.
The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, should not have approved Cuadrilla’s fracking plans because shale gas regulation was not good enough, the High Court heard this afternoon.
The argument was part of a legal challenge brought by a Lancashire resident to Mr Javid’s decision to grant permission for drilling, fracking and testing up to four shale gas wells at Preston New Road, near Blackpool.
Mr Javid’s decision, announced in October 2016, followed the recommendation of an inspector at a public inquiry and overruled the refusal of permission by Lancashire County Council.
Marc Willers QC, for the resident Gayzer Frackman, told the court in Manchester this afternoon:
The press regulator has received multiple complaints about an article by the Telegraph referring to arrests at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site.
The article, about protests at the Preston New Road site, near Blackpool, said:
“There have been a dozen arrests related to verbal death threats and physical assault against workers at Cuadrilla’s site in the last month but some forms of legal protest action are carried out with the police in attendance.” (posted on the Telegraph website 7pm, 18 February 2017)