Brine watch group earns MP support

Members of the public hear about plans to offload brine into the Irish Sea at Rossall.
Members of the public hear about plans to offload brine into the Irish Sea at Rossall.
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The setting-up of groups to scrutinise a gas storage firm’s methods of pumping brine into the Irish Sea has been welcomed by a Fylde coast MP.

Halite Energy plans to offload 19,000 tonnes of brine per day into the sea off Rossall, as the end process of drilling caverns into salt caverns to store 900 million cubic metres of gas.

Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

But serious concerns have been raised that a huge brine lake will be created which may have the potential to cause damage to marine life for generations to come.

The Marine Monitoring Group includes the Environment Agency, Natural England, Inshore Fisheries North West and the Wyre Rivers Trust.

And Brine Watch is a local-based group.

Cat Smith, the Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said: “I’m pleased these groups will be keeping a keen eye on developments. I share the concerns of local people and environmental groups.”

Halite Energy says it will adhere to safeguards and that the process is used safely all over the world.

But Captain David Eccles, a marine consult and lecturer at Fleetwood Nautical Campus who is part of local group Brine Watch, said: “The lake has the potential to damage the marine eco system for generations to come as well as killing all marine life at the bottom of the food chain.”

Keith Budinger, chief executive of Halite Energy, said: “We want to reassure the community that we are committed to minimising the environmental impact of our project and we will continue to work with all statutory bodies to ensure this is the case across the lifetime of the project.”

A petition to oppose plans to pump brine into the sea had 2,736 signatures by Monday. To sign visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/207532