Bad news. The Environment Agency have just said they are 'minded to issue' the environMental permits referenced in this petition. They have published the draft permit and other supporting information for public (and expert) comment. Only open until 15 March.
Full documentation here: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/rh6-6hn-europa-oil-and-gas-limited/
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. The Environment Agency have recently announced that they are now 'minded to issue' the permit and have published the draft. We are now in a short public consultation phase which closes on 15 March. The draft permit and supporting documents can be viewed here:
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.