Pollution fears after Preston New Road fracking site floods

Anti-fracking campaigners have said Fylde coast flooding due to heavy rain could mean an increased threat of pollution from drill sites.

Monday, 27th November 2017, 7:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 12:48 pm
Aerial footage of rainwater at the Preston New Road fracking site.

They say Cuadrilla’s well pad at Preston New Road was under inches of water following the heavy rains and that if there is run off from the site in future this could lead to fields and watercourses being contaminated with fracking fluid.

Claire Stephenson, from Frack Free Lancashire, said the repeated flooding of the Preston New Road site and surrounding fields gave residents regular cause for concern.

She said: “Cuadrilla has already had one environment breach at the site with run off from the site going into Carr Bridge Brook.“You can seen from drone footage today that there is leakage from the site into the field. It is quite often under water due to rain. We think this poses a pollution risk.

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Water running down the road was due to a burst pipe rather than the rain

“It is always going to be an ongoing concern in this area and it increases the potential for any chemical leakage from the drill site to get into the watercourses and farmland.”

Cuadrilla breached its environmental permit twice in the early stages of the operation at its fracking site when water containing silt from the site reached the tributary of a local brook twice in a week.

But a spokesman said work had been carried out to prevent further leaks. He said: “There has been a lot of heavy rainfall across Lancashire this week, so there has been some standing water gathering on site.

“But the design of the well pad at Preston New Road has been constructed and quality checked to ensure rainwater and other site fluids are not discharged in an uncontrolled manner.

Water running down the road was due to a burst pipe rather than the rain

“Subsequently a “bath tub” has been deliberately created which will contain rainwater safely preventing environmental harm.”