The Environment Agency has granted the environmental permits Cuadrilla Resources needs to carry out operations safely at their proposed shale gas exploration site at Roseacre Wood, near Elswick, Lancashire.
The permits set out the requirements Cuadrilla must meet to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of wastes.
The Environment Agency has carried out a thorough assessment of Cuadrilla’s applications and carried out two periods of extensive public consultation since June 2014.
Steve Molyneux, Environment Manager, said: “Over the past six months we have rigorously assessed Cuadrilla’s applications and carefully considered all of the public comments received.
“I am confident that the strict controls set out in the permits to manage waste, safe flaring of gas and conditions to safeguard local water resources will ensure that people and the environment remain protected.
“Our assessment has covered the environmental risks at this site and how we believe they can be controlled through a permit. The planning authority, in this case Lancashire County Council, will decide whether the activity is acceptable at that particular location.
Cuadrilla still needs planning permission to be in place to develop the site. Should they begin exploration, we will ensure the permit conditions are enforced.”
Francis Egan, Chief Executive, Cuadrilla, said: “We are pleased that the Environment Agency has granted our permits for our proposed exploration site at Roseacre Wood, which follows the approval for permits at our other proposed site at Preston New Road.
“Following such a rigorous review and public consultation of all of our permit applications by the regulator, this unequivocally demonstrates that, as we have committed, our proposed exploratory operations will be carried out responsibly ensuring the local environment is protected.”