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Consultation underway for second Cuadrilla permit at Balcombe

"It is our role to ensure that the environment will be safeguarded during exploration for oil and gas

The Environment Agency is seeking further views from the local community and interested groups following the application for a second environmental permit from energy company Cuadrilla Balcombe Ltd (Cuadrilla).

The company is not proposing to carry out any hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as part of this activity.

The company has already applied to the Environment Agency for a mining waste permit to manage wastes arising from an exploratory borehole to test for oil reserves at Balcombe in West Sussex. This consultation was open until today (16 July) and is now closed.

Cuadrilla has also now formally applied for another permit to manage any waste water or solid waste which may contain naturally occurring radioactive substances. Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) are present in many types of rocks. Sometimes, waste water from such activities can contain low levels of this NORM. A permit is required to ensure safe disposal of any waste that may fall within the scope of the regulations.

The NORM waste permit, if granted, will only be needed if Cuadrilla carries out any well testing onsite.

If any of the permits are granted, the company will need to adhere strictly to the conditions set out in the permits. This will ensure that local communities and the environment are protected.

Chris Wick of the Environment Agency said:
"We would like to thank the local community and interested parties for all their valuable comments received so far. We are now inviting feedback on this second permit application between Tuesday, 16 July 2013 and Tuesday, 13 August 2013 to ensure that we have fully considered all views before determining this latest application.

"It is our role to ensure that the environment will be safeguarded during exploration for oil and gas. With this in mind we will ensure all relevant information is considered before we make a final decision. If any of the permits are then granted, we will ensure that they are being fully complied with."
More information on the plans is available on our website:
https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal/

People now have the chance to comment on the proposals by visiting our website or by emailing:
rsr.rotherham2.ne@environment-agency.gov.uk
or writing to:
P&SC – RSR Team
PO Box 4404
Sheffield
S9 9DA
The consultation on the second permit runs until Tuesday, 13 August 2013. Responses will be fed into the Environment Agency's on-going assessment before a final decision to grant or refuse the permits is made.