Fracking Trucks: Sand In, Waste Out – Where Will It Be Dumped?
Cuadrilla Resources has started hydraulic fracturing the first of 2 wells on its site at Preston New Road, and the impacts extend far beyond earthquakes or or for that matter Lancashire. Thousands of vehicle movements are required, and every fracking truck bringing something from somewhere, or is taking something somewhere. During this phase of operations a large component of that fracking traffic will be trucks bringing sand in or tankers taking waste out. PNR is unusual in that it has a dedicated mains water connection, but if that was not the case then tankers bringing in water could be the largest component of the traffic.
Hydraulic fracturing of the first of 2 wells at the site began last week, and has already caused 5 small earthquakes in 3 days. Cuadrilla are planning to frac the wells at PNR in up to 41 stages along their lengths, starting at the far end and working backwards towards the pad. Each stage uses 200,000 gallons of fracking fluid containing 75 tons of sand (plus chemicals). Large quantities of toxic and radioactive waste will returned to the surface and will be dumped somewhere. Mostly likely candidates are the FCC Environment sites at Knostrop in Leeds and Ecclesfield in Sheffield.
There is massive ongoing resistance to Cuadrilla’s plans, as Lancashire communities try to make it as slow and costly for them as possible. Cuadrilla has taken the best part of 7 years to get back to where it was, following the 2011 earthquakes it caused in Lanacshire and the subsequent explosion of resistance to fracking. It has now drilled 2 of an orignally 4 planned wells at its Preston New Road (PNR) appraisal site, while its other new site at Roseacre Wood is having its planning refusal appealed in central government. A year and a half into activity at PNR the ongoing resistance is clearly taking its toll. Cuadrilla appears to be almost a year behind its original timeline, even after having quietly scaled back its plans to two instead of the initial four wells.
The Preston New Road site is Cuadrilla’s flagship fracking test project, where they have planning permission (from central government) to drill and hydraulically fracture 4 shale gas wells. This would involve more than 20,000 vehicle movements in and out of the PNR site, as fracking trucks bring equipment and materials and dispose of waste, to and from support sites across the country. Take a look at our factsheet and find out what support sites could be near you.
Cuadrilla’s speculative business model means that they need good results from these test to get more investment, but that includes not just what they find under ground but the level of resistance they encounter. That is where communities across the country come in – by making Cuadrilla’s fracking plans as difficult, slow and expensive as possible!
Check out our factsheet about Cuadrilla’s plans, your community may be threatened with impacts (e.g. fracking waste being dumped or transported through your community) even if you live hundreds of miles from Lancashire.