20,000 signatures reached
To: Environment Agency
Don't risk water pollution from oil drilling on Leith Hill
We call on the Environment Agency (EA) to reject the environmental permit applications for Leith Hill in Surrey related to oil drilling. We think the potential water contamination risks are unacceptable.
The permits in question are:
1. Environmental Permit application for onshore oil and gas exploratory operations on Leith Hill (EPR/YP3735YK/A001)
2. Environmental permit application for a radioactive substances activity permit on Leith Hill (EPR/EB3594DF/A001)
3. Environmental permit for a standard rules installation permit for Leith Hill (EPR/YP3735YK/A001).
We also call on the EA to substantially extend and strengthen the water monitoring to more locations and over a longer time period.
Water is a both a vital natural resource and a heritage, which must be protected, defended and treated as such.
Why is this important?
Leith Hill and the surrounding countryside contain much groundwater of public importance: aquifers providing drinking water, springs and watercourses. The proposed deep drilling techniques will use acids and other chemicals close to this extensive water resource. Radioactive materials will also be raised from the target Jurassic strata deep underground, through faulted land, as a byproduct of the oil extraction (reference permit application 2). Air, soil, noise and light pollution are also concerns.
The proposed drill site is within an officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty high on the unspoilt hill.
The Environmental Permit application (for onshore oil and gas exploratory operations on Leith Hill), referenced in this petition, closed for public comment on 16 May 2017. Since then the Environment Agency (EA) has reviewed the responses and asked Europa Oil & Gas company to supply further information to support their application. The EA are currently assessing this additional information internally and provided that no further information or clarification is needed from Europa Oil & Gas they will proceed to a "Minded to issue” stage of public consultation for a minimum 20 working day period (which will include being able to view the additional information/documents that Europa Oil & Gas have submitted).
The consultation documents and responses can be viewed via the following link. Any future public consultation on these applications will also be listed through this link. We encourage you to keep an eye on this and register your opposition should it pass to the 'minded to issue' phase, which could happen any day.
If this petition gains widespread support it will not only help Leith Hill, but could also assist the wider campaign to protect groundwaters throughout The Weald (Surrey & Sussex) and in the country as a whole.