Management of fugitive emissions is covered by the Environment Agency permit. As part of the permit application, the operator will need to describe the management of fugitive emissions in an ‘emissions management plan’.
During operations the operator will be required to undertake environmental monitoring, including emissions monitoring, to demonstrate compliance with their permits. In some cases, depending on the risks presented by a site or community concerns, the Environment Agency may carry out extra monitoring themselves.
As a further safeguard, the Infrastructure Act 2015 makes it clear that hydraulic fracturing activities cannot take place unless appropriate arrangements have been made for monitoring emissions of methane into the air.
In addition, the Government is grant funding an environmental monitoring programme led by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in the Fylde (Lancashire) and Kirby Misperton (North Yorkshire), where applications for shale gas wells have been made.