Friends of the Earth seeks judicial review of Lancashire fracking plans

By agency reporter
May 6, 2018

Friends of the Earth lodged an application at the High Court on 3 May 2018, seeking judicial review of Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

The Environment Agency (EA) has a duty to ensure that the best available techniques are used by the fracking industry but they admit that they failed to conduct a ‘best available technique assessment’ when considering Cuadrilla’s application. 

Friends of the Earth believe that the EA should have required Cuadrilla to use a better technique for dealing with waste fluids - known as flowback – that fracking generates. The more ‘flowback fluid’ Cuadrilla can reuse, the less waste will need to be trucked offsite. Failure of the EA to make sure that the best available techniques are used could mean more waste and more trucks on Lancashire’s roads. 

Friends of the Earth are asking Minister Greg Clark to confirm that fracking consent won’t be granted while this challenge is being considered by the court, so this intervention comes at a crucial stage.

Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth campaigner, said, "All along, the government stated that gold standard regulation will make everything OK, but we believe our challenge shows the opposite. Where fracking has happened elsewhere, we've seen instances of damage to the environment. We were told the UK’s regulation would suffice, but already it’s looking more like fool’s gold, than gold standard.

“Recent research shows that 6,100 wells would be needed to provide just half the amount of gas the UK imports – that’s one well a day for 15 years. This is just one Lancashire well already under legal scrutiny for poor regulation by not making sure the best available techniques are used. People will ask what of the other 6,099 wells pock-marked across the UK?

“Greg Clark should not grant fracking consent while significant questions are being raised about basic regulation in the High Court.”

* Friends of the Earth https://friendsoftheearth.uk/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.