Misson Springs Environment Agency permit: OBJECT
IGas have asked the Environment Agency for a permit for ‘Mining Waste Operations’ for their site at Misson Springs. We urge you to respond to this consultation by the deadline of 8th March.
Below are points you can use to object:
- Noise and vibration levels from 24-7 drilling over a period of a year or so will cause unacceptable impact on the adjoining Misson Carr SSSI, particularly for breeding birds and for bats and owls.
- Light levels overnight every night will be brighter than a continuous full moon and will have an unacceptable impact on surrounding wildlife, particularly breeding birds, bats and owls.
- Pollution from dust and from diesel compressor exhausts will not be adequately mitigated and will be at unacceptable levels, particularly for the surrounding fenland habitat and drainage channels (many of which are designated as local wildlife sites).
- The site is in flood zone 3 and is not adequately protected from the risk of fluvial flooding from the River Idle.
- The report by Professor David Smythe on the geology and hydrogeology of the site (commissioned by Bassetlaw Against Fracking in response to the planning application) demonstrates that IGas has failed to properly map local fault lines and previous boreholes, and therefore failed to adequately assess risk to groundwater.
- Groundwater levels in Misson Carr SSSI have been raised at public expense to maintain valuable fenland habitat. IGas has failed to recognise the sensitivity of the surrounding area to groundwater level and failed to assess the impact of its drilling operation on groundwater flows in the surrounding area. No permit should be granted which might compromise groundwater level.
- Contamination of groundwater by failure of the cement seal around the well and consequential movement of groundwater between layers is likely to occur eventually. The precautionary principle (as required by the Water Framework Directive) means that this should not be permitted.
- Although the current application is for drilling core samples, it should be anticipated that, if permitted, the next stage could be hydraulic fracturing for appraisal. Professor Smythe’s response to the planning application (which was copied to the Environment Agency) demonstrates that IGas’ hydrogeological analysis is not adequate to protect groundwater from leakage along fault lines. So hydraulic fracturing at this site should be explicitly not permitted.
- As methane is a powerful global warming gas, no action should be permitted which will risk methane leakage. Leakage of more than 3% would make methane burning worse than coal. Yet evidence suggests that methane leakage from shale gas and coal seam gas fields in the US and Australia are typically 6% or more. The Environment Agency should ensure that this methane stays in the ground by refusing a permit.
- Drilling waste is likely to include radioactive material, heavy metals and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. IGas has not proposed adequate handling techniques for such hazardous materials.