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Deny the grant of an environmental permit for an exploratory borehole at Merthyr Mawr

This petition had 1,591 supporters


Following the grant of planning permission from Bridgend County Borough Council (contested by local residents) Coastal Oil & Gas have applied to Natural Resources Wales for permission to drill an exploratory borehole for "unconventional oil and gas" to a depth of c. 1,500m at Merthyr Mawr, near Bridgend.

The site, off Tyla Lane, is only 1.7km from Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a rare expanse of dunes situated against a Carboniferous Limestone Plateau which is notable for its height (the second highest in Europe), stability, unspoilt nature and the fact that it hosts an unusual ecosystem of plants, insects, bird and rare fungi. 

Although the initial operation would not involve fracking, the exploratory operation is clearly a pretext for this type of operation, which is known to cause localised earthquakes and instability which could irreparably devastate the fragile nearby dunes. Approval at this stage would set a dangerous precedent for future applications which pose a genuine environment threat. 

The deadline for the consultation period is 27 May.

We therefore petition Natural Resources Wales, which is entrusted with the management of the Nature Reserve to DENY this application from Coastal Oil & Gas, to prevent this assault on the local ecosystem from going any further.

Links/References

Information on the Nature Reserve from the Countryside Council for Wales

News article on the proposed borehole from the Wales Online news site

Natural Resources Wales proposal website including contact details if you want to individually object to the drilling

Report from the British Geological Survey indicating causal link between fracking activities and localised earthquakes for a case study in the UK (also points to an overall lack of data/monitoring to assess likelihood or magnitude of quakes, therefore risk level for Merthyr Mawr area is unknown - is it acceptable to subject an SSSI to an unknown and unquantifiable risk of damage?)

Leading Geochemist highlights the problem of groundwater contamination at fracking sites

Main (dead-ended) road through Merthyr Mawr - access lane to the drilling site is slightly further ahead on the right - clearly unsuitable for heavy vehicles and plant (Google Street View)



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