LETTER: Fears over plan for acidising

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Cuadrilla has applied to the Environment Agency to make changes to its permit in Balcombe.

Companies trying to get established in the Weald, want to get oil through acidising. This is a sister process to fracking and raises similar serious concerns. Acidising needs a great many wells drilled back to back and multiple underground horizontal drilling, because, unlike our previous wells in the Weald, the oil is not free flowing nor easily accessible. Acidising brings the same ills of flaring, heavy traffic and risks to our water and geology.

Cuadrilla’s flare will be below the height of the village thus blowing pollutants (NOx being one), straight into us. Cuadrilla ignores the presence of sulphur in the well, but Public Health England stated in 2014, it should have assessed the risk of sulphur dioxide in the flare to the community. The water flowing back from the well would be extremely salty and could contain radioactive and toxic substances. Cuadrilla wants to relinquish the mining waste facility it had before, as it now says they do not intend to leave any waste fluid underground, which is impossible. The EA has admitted there is a hydraulic link between lower stumble and Ardingly reservoir, therefore this waste fluid should be closely scrutinised. More detail on Ruth Hayhurst’s website ‘Drill or Drop’

Helen Savage

Balcombe

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said in response: “We are in discussions with West Sussex County Council on the best way forwards as regards our site at Balcombe given the current planning application expires on 2nd May. We commit to informing local residents in May with full details on how we aim to proceed. We can confirm no works will undertaken before then.

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