To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the potential number of waste water facilities that will be needed to (a) treat and (b) dispose of waste water generated from hydraulic fracturing operations in the event that the industry develops as proposed in the Government's energy policy.
The UK shale gas industry is at the very early stages of exploration and we do not yet know how much shale gas it will be possible to technologically and commercially extract from UK shale reserves. In order to determine the potential of the industry and the benefits it could bring the UK, we need exploration to go ahead and Government encourages this.
Further exploration will be needed to determine the amount of waste water facilities which would be required for future shale gas development.
Future treatment capacity is a matter for the shale gas and waste water industries. Under the Environmental Permitting Regulations shale gas operators are required to check the capacity of appropriate waste disposal facilities. If operators cannot demonstrate an appropriate disposal route to the Environment Agency during the environmental permitting process it is likely to refuse their application.