A limited public consultation has been quietly under way by IGas in their attempts to elicit the favour and ‘Social License’ of local residents. This has involved a small number of hand picked community members attending meetings with IGas representatives where the common questions around community concerns can be addressed. Needless to say, standard PR answers have followed, crucial points of safety have been dismissed as ‘dealt with in the consultation process and planning stages with the regulatory bodies’, and critical points to do with Environmental and Public Health just omitted. This process has also involved the gifting of sums of money as required to local community projects, whom later appear in the PR material for the company.
Further details of these Environmental and Public health concerns can be found in articles under Fracking Information, and in the Gallery-Video section.
Here is a summary of the points IGas has not discussed with the community:
1) There has been no site specific seismic (earthquake) assessment undertaken.
2) There has been no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) done for the site. As the site is carefully picked to be under 1ha, the law requiring one does not apply. The Data on Environmental Risk Assessment http://www.igas-barton.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IRLM-EPA-006.pdf and http://www.igas-barton.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IRLM-EPA-007.pdf is qualitative; ie it contains no numbers or measures and is not the same as a full EIA.
3) There is no Radiological Waste Permit for the safe disposal of waste waters from the site.
4) It is well hidden in the Regulation documents on the IGas website -(where most people will not look), http://www.igas-barton.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IRLM-EPA-008.pdf but carcinogenic and toxic chemicals will be used in the exploratory phase. Most of this water remains in the ground after it is pumped in; returned or ‘produced wastewater’ is not measured and losses estimated around 70% are not known to local groundwater or geology. These chemicals remain on the site under the ground, and there is nothing in place which can or will guarantee they will not enter the aquifer.
A small number of locals attended the IGas presentation day, where any questions which veered off the standard script were unanswered.
IGas’ say previously said their interests are to access the Coal Bed Methane or other unconventional gas resources in the area.
They changed this dailogue after being were quoted as searching for shale gas. Planning permission does not state they can explore for shale.http://www.igas-barton.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IRLM-EPA-002.pdf
Here is IGas saying otherwise- they say they want the shale below it worth an estimated $85 billion in the north- even if only 5% is accessed : http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/business/energy-environment/britain-looks-to-fracking-as-north-sea-oil-dwindles.html?ref=international. (IGas’) Mr. Blaymires said “a single site could extract gas from an underground formation of four or five square miles, or 10 to 13 square kilometers”.
Do read this and realise what the long term plans are as the foot sneaks in the door.
It is also not in their standard discussion or interests to inform and discuss with you in detail the accidents and earthquakes which have occurred around the world and in UK caused by unconventional exploration and extraction, document or discuss damage from the chemicals they are using to your short and long term health and that of your environment, or remind you that fossil fuels and their extraction continue to maintain human dependence on toxic technologies where they are not necessary.
Bear this in mind as you read the glossy PR mag.