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Environmental monitoring : phase 4 final report (April 2018 - March 2019)

Ward, R.S.; Smedley, P.L.; Allen, G.; Baptie, B.J.; Barkwith, A.K.A.P.; Bateson, L.; Bell, R.A.; Bowes, M.; Coleman, M.; Cremen, G.; Daraktchieva, Z.; Gong, M.; Howarth, C.H.; Fisher, R.; Hawthorn, D.; Jones, D.G.; Jordan, C.; Lanoiselle, M.; Lewis, A.C.; Lister, T.R.; Lowry, D.; Luckett, R.; Mallin-Martin, D.; Marchant, B.P.; Miller, C.A.; Milne, C.J.; Novellino, A.; Pitt, J.; Purvis, R.M.; Rivett, M.O.; Shaw, J.; Taylor-Curran, H.; Wasikiewicz, J.M.; Werner, M.; Wilde, S.. 2019 Environmental monitoring : phase 4 final report (April 2018 - March 2019). Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 224pp. (OR/19/044) (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

This report describes the results of activities carried out as part of the Environmental Monitoring Project (EMP) led by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in areas around two shale gas sites in England – Kirby Misperton (Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire) and Preston New Road (Fylde, Lancashire). It focuses on the monitoring undertaken during the period April 2018–March 2019 but also considers this in the context of earlier monitoring results that have been covered in reports for earlier phases of the project (Phases I–IV) 2 . The EMP project is a multi-partner project involving BGS together with Public Health England (PHE), University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Manchester, Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) and University of York. The work has been enabled by funding from a combination of the BGS National Capability programme, a grant awarded by the UK Government’s Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and additional benefit-in-kind contributions from all partners. The project comprises the comprehensive monitoring of different environment compartments and properties at and around the two shale-gas sites. The component parts of the EMP are all of significance when considering environmental and human health risks associated with shale gas development. Included are seismicity, ground motion, water (groundwater and surface water), soil gas, greenhouse gases, air quality, and radon. The monitoring started before hydraulic fracturing had taken place at the two locations, and so the results obtained before the initiation of operations at the shale-gas sites represent baseline conditions. It is important to characterise adequately the baseline conditions so that any future changes caused by shale gas operations, including hydraulic fracturing, can be identified. This is also the case for any other new activities that may impact those compartments of the environment being monitored as part of the project. In the period October 2018–December 2018, an initial phase of hydraulic fracturing took place at the Preston New Road (PNR) shale-gas site (shale gas well PNR1-z) in Lancashire. This was followed by a period of flow testing of the well to assess its performance (to end of January 2019). The project team continued monitoring during these various activities and several environmental effects were observed. These are summarised below and described in more detail within the report. The initiation of operations at the shale-gas site signified the end of baseline monitoring. At the Kirby Misperton site (KMA), approval has not yet been granted for hydraulic fracturing of the shale gas well (KM8), and so no associated operations have taken place during the period covered by this report. The effects on air quality arising from the mobilisation of equipment in anticipation of hydraulic fracturing operations starting was reported in the Phase III report, and in a recently published paper3 . Following demobilisation of the equipment and its removal from the site, conditions returned to baseline and the on-going monitoring (reported in this report) is effectively a continuation of baseline monitoring.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed.
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater & methane, Groundwater modelling
Date made live: 14 May 2020 16:29 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/527726

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