Fracking: Air Pollution

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to monitor emissions from shale gas sites once they have been decommissioned.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency requires monitoring of the environmental conditions at shale gas sites before operations can start in accordance with the environmental permit granted. This provides a valuable evidence base to compare against monitoring results taken during and after operations. The type and period of monitoring required after decommissioning is determined on a site by site basis. It will depend on the risks associated with the type and scale of activities at a particular site, together with the local environmental setting.

The Environment Agency will not allow an operator to surrender their permit until it is satisfied that the well has been decommissioned in line with the Health and Safety Executive's requirements and either no pollution has occurred at a site, or if it has, that the site has been returned to its original condition.

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