Activists launch another legal challenge against Cuadrilla fracking permit in High Court

Friends of the Earth say government agency failed in duty to promote use of 'best available techniques' to reduce environmental impact

Josh Gabbatiss
Science Correspondent
Thursday 29 November 2018 16:55
Comments
Fracking protests begin as drilling in Lancashire gets go-head from high court

Activists are challenging a permit given to a fracking site in Lancashire in the latest legal test for the controversial fossil fuel extraction technique.

Friends of the Earth say the Environment Agency (EA) has failed in its duty to promote the use of the “best available techniques” to reduce the environmental impact of fracking.

They are launching a challenge in the High Court against the permission granted for oil and gas exploration company Cuadrilla to drill at their Preston New Road site.

Specifically, they argue that the EA should have considered the use of other techniques that produce less contaminated waste fluids when it considered Cuadrilla’s application in 2017.

Tony Bosworth, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said: “All along, the government stated that gold standard regulation would make fracking OK, but we believe our case, and the reality of what’s happening at Preston New Road, shows the opposite.

“They should be putting in place the best possible regulation to ensure that people, and the environment are protected.

“How can the government be considering rolling fracking out across the country, when it can’t be properly regulated at even one site? Isn’t it time the government gives up on fracking and backs renewables instead.”

“Flowback fluid” is produced at fracking sites after water is pumped into cracks in the rock to extract shale gas, and the liquid must be either reused or removed and processed at special facilities.

The campaigners say the EA should have considered a technique called “electrocoagulation”, which they say could produce cleaner fluid, before granting permission at the site.

Fracking at Preston New Road started in mid-October. It has since been a target for protesters and has been forced to halt drilling repeatedly after earth tremors at the site exceeded legal limits.

There have already been two unsuccessful attempts by protest groups to stop their operations.

The case is being held before Mr Justice Supperstone, and a ruling is expected within a few weeks.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in