Watching the Defectives
So, with the usual PR fanfare Cuadrilla announced their shiny new environmental measurements portal.
We are glad that they are at least acknowledging the potential impacts of their activities, but we don’t really think it’s appropriate they they seem to be being left to mark their own homework here.
Interestingly Page 10 of the government response to the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2010–12 states that :
The environment agencies do not monitor air quality at unconventional gas operations unless there are specific permitted activities on site (e.g. large scale refining or combustion of gas) however it may make recommendations as part of the planning application process to ensure operations’ designs allow appropriate management of emissions to air.
Local authorities also have a statutory duty under the Government’s Air Quality Strategy and Local Air Quality Management process to monitor and assess local air quality. If necessary local authorities may take action to reduce emissions in the event that they might risk contributing to any breach of air quality standards.
So we would like very much to know what LCC are doing at the moment to fulfil that statutory responsibility with specific reference to the area around the PNR site. Leaving it to Cuadrilla to put up a few pretty graphs that don’t even state which month they are showing is not fulfilling it is it?
In the meantime given that Cuadrilla can’t manage to keep the simplest of promises relating to public information (Remember the Lancashire Commitments Tracker that was going to be published every 3 months but hasn’t been updated since November?) we will not be holding our breath to see if they manage to do better with this one.
As the toothless officers at LCC were reported as saying at the recent community liaison group meeting that LCC cannot enforce breaches of the traffic management plan whilst trucks are being brought in under police convoy, we don’t have a great deal of faith in their capabilities either.
Is this really the gold standard regulation that Mark Menzies tries to claim exists?