The forthcoming inquiry will be a first –
- First in the UK to be held where the planning application has been refused on the grounds of failing to mitigate the effects of climate change – granting the application would fly in the face of all recent climate science which requires us to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 Deg C otherwise face climatic disaster within a couple of decades.
- First in the UK where the well site is located in an urban environment. If the precedent is set here, we could have gas wells popping up in towns all around the country.
The IGas well at Ellesmere Port is their fourthwithin the North West of England; the others are located at Barton Moss, Eccles and Ince Marshes. At each well IGas applied to drill and was granted planning permission by councils to drill to certain depths for Coal Bed Methane. However on each occasion IGas has exceeded the permitted depth and drilled down to explore for Shale Gas. In Ellesmere Port the permitted depth was exceeded by 1,000m – twice the depth allowed.
The Environment Agency, Health & Safety Executive and the Oil & Gas Authority, regulators who issue the permits to drill, have not taken IGas to task for flouting planning permission thereby sanctioning the practice of breaking rules and ignoring democratic planning decisions. Who can be relied on to ensure IGas does not continue in their cavalier manner ignoring rules meant to keep the public safe?
Nine expert witnesses acting on behalf of Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton have submitted their evidence to the Government appointed Planning Inspector, ahead of the public inquiry that will take place at Chester Town Hall from the 15thuntil the 23rdof January.
The evidence submitted by the inquiry team experts exposes a catalogue of misinformation and ambiguity from IGas earning them the local nickname of ‘Lie Gas’ as a result.
“This application lacks clarity and opens a Pandora’s box of things they can do. The application contradicts itself in many areas and our attempts to seek clarity have failed. Given they have such a track record of ignoring planning permission, I wonder what they will do this time”says Mr Colin Watson, expert on site location.
Prof David Smythe, expert geologist of the University of Glasgow says –
“The geology at the well provided by IGas does not correspond with the information supplied to the Council and Regulators. A cross section submitted in the IGas application, is indeed for an area some 8km to the east of the Ellesmere Port well site – possibly Ince Marshes and the all important geological faults are absent in the information provided”.
Mr Robin Grayson, expert geologist says –
“The misleading and incomplete nature of many aspects of the IGas case documents for flow testing demonstrates that there is little confidence that the proposed development will not lead to contamination of the aquifer or escape of gas, which has a probability of including the deadly Hydrogen Sulphide”.
Frack Free Ellesmere Port & Upton will object to this IGas development every step of the way.
Crowd funding for the appeal – http://www.gofundme.com/ellesmere-port-appeal-fund