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Cuadrilla break noise restictions again.

On 8 Sep 2013 at 11:57pm What a racket! wrote:
No FiBS (No Fracking in Balcombe Society)
Cuadrilla admitted yesterday that they have been in breach of the noise restrictions attached to their planning permission, and have agreed to suspend drilling in Balcombe. They must now erect sound barriers before drilling can continue.
Although Cuadrilla’s own monitoring had established that noise from drilling was exceeding the 42 decibel limit, neither they nor the county and district councils had made this information public. Distressed by the noise of drilling, the Balcombe community bought their own monitoring equipment and sought the help of our MP Francis Maude to obtain Cuadrilla’s figures. Suspension of drilling was agreed last night (Saturday) at a meeting between Cuadrilla, the Environment Agency and Cuadrilla’s new acoustic consultants.
Village mother of two Louisa Delpy said: ‘A noise survey was meant to be carried out within five days of drilling. Yet the noise report was released after almost five weeks, and then I believe only after the intervention of our MP at our request. Despite repeated complaints about excessive noise, Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council have failed to act. Clearly they have neither the tools nor the skills to carry out the enforcement on noise that they are supposed to. It seems they have asked the EA to do it despite it being a condition in the planning permission.’
Balcombe resident Robert Greer added: ‘We’ve been complaining to the local authorities for weeks, while having to suffer this unbearable noise day and night. This is yet another instance of Cuadrilla not sticking to the terms of their permission. And it illustrates yet again how wrong it is to drill so close to a village’.
No FiBS asks that the noise levels be monitored again as soon as drilling starts, and that the data be released immediately.
Cuadrilla already faces a tight deadline, and erecting sound barriers will delay drilling by three to four days. They plan to complete drilling the well under the terms of the original planning permission, which runs out on September 28th. On September 27th they will apply for new planning permission to test the well. They must cap the well and have cleared the site by the 28th.
On 9 Sep 2013 at 12:53am Alan Toothill wrote:

Let's be very clear about Cuadrilla's record.
In 2011 their fracking caused earthquakes because they had performed inadequate geological surveys. They deformed their well casing at PH1 well in Lancashire. They failed to report this to DECC and were chastised because of this by the government when the facts emerged. This resulted in the sacking and replacement of their then CEO. At Anna's road concerns about cement casing by the Environmental Agency casued closure of another well, the problem compounded by the loss down the well irrecoverably of a packer tool. This brought their Lancashire failure rate to two out of four wells drilled.
In 2012 their subcontractors trespassed on private land and the inadequate knowledge of explosive use in seismological survey work caused damage to property which has resulted in claim settlement. It also caused death in angling club fish ponds.
In summer 2012 they issued promotional material which was later to be judged by the Advertising Standards Authority as breaching standards on a number of counts.
In Preston magistrates Court it was admitted by Lancashire County Council that Cuadrilla had breached planning conditions at Banks by continuing to drill two months beyond their permitted time, the conditions being imposed because of the importance of the area to overwintering birds.
In Balcombe Cuadrilla failed to meet planning conditions by failing to have available copies of their planning conditions on-site.
Cuadrilla have withdrawn two applications for amendments to their planning consent granted in 2010 on suspicion that the original consent was not fully lawfully granted, and an extension was challengeable.
In Balcombe Cuadrilla have now been shown to be in breach of their noise conditions.
Significantly, most of these problems were highlighted not through government department action, but by local communities and individuals raising their concerns.
This history is not just one little slip-up, slightly out of line. It is a whole record which shows that protestors are right to query the integrity of this particular company, and to question the validity of the government's assertion that this is a well-regulated industry.

On 9 Sep 2013 at 1:24pm Someone else wrote:
Some people have waaaay too much time on their hands...
On 9 Sep 2013 at 2:01pm Frack Free Fernhurst wrote:
Further to yesterday's post.....work has stopped at the Caudrilla site in Balcombe after they exceeded the maximum permitted night noise levels of 42dB by 9dB. A Caudrilla spokesman said "we don't think the noise is too bad.....we have breached the noise rules by just 9dB, which is quieter than the sound of rustling leaves"
A dB is not an absolute measure of noise; to say 9dB is like rustling leaves is ludicrous. The dB scale is logarithmic; thus a 10dB increase from say 40dB to 50dB is perceived by the human ear as twice as loud.
So either Caudrilla are deliberately trying to deceive or they don't understand basic science.
Neither do they seem to take seriously the fact that they have broken the rules imposed upon them. The public is right to be sceptical when companies like Caudrilla claim they operate to the highest standards.

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