Importation and disposal of radioactive waste water at Singleton Oil Well
Dear South Downs National Park Authority,
In January 2020, IGas applied for permit to reinject radioactive waste water at their site in Singleton.
In the application for a radioactive substances permit IGas said it was seeking consent for
“receiving and reinjecting back to the oil producing reservoir at the Singleton Oilfield, produced waters containing NORM levels above the out of scope limits resulting from the production of oil and gas at the Singleton oilfield, other IGas onshore oilfields in southern England and produced water from the Holybourne Oil Storage Terminal.”
While the disposal of water has been consented to, this was for waste water arising from the onsite production. IGas did not have planning permission to import radioactive or other wastewater from Holybourne terminal or any other onshore oil and gas sites in the UK.
I understand that IGas has been operating in breach of planning and have been told
that it did not have planning permission to import liquid waste from other sites for disposal at Singleton.
I also understand that the company has said it does “not necessarily agree”.
Apparently the maximum activity in the accumulated liquid waste is 30 MBq of Ra-226 and 30 MBq of RA228. There is no limit to the radioactivity of solid waste.
Please can you tell me what kind of follow up the SDNP has taken regarding this breach in planning and send copies of correspondance between SDNP and IGas regarding the matter.
Weald Action Group
Hi Emily, many thanks for contacting the SDNPA. I can confirm receipt of your request and that I have forward to the team that manage FOI request.
They will be in contact with you in due course.
Support Services Officer
South Downs National Park Authority
South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9DH
Tel: 01730 814810
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Dear Ms Mott,
Thank you for your request for information, received on the 7^th of
December. We have now considered your request under the Environmental
Information Regulations. For reference, your request is laid out below in
Please can you tell me what kind of follow up the SDNP has taken regarding
this breach in planning and send copies of correspondence between SDNP and
IGas regarding the matter.
The response of the South Downs National Park Authority is as follows:
Please find attached an email chain exchanged with an employee at IGas.
These emails were responded to by telephone calls from the recipient, so
we have not retained a written record of the responses.
Regarding the alleged breach itself, an enforcement case was opened on the
27th of May, 2021 and the SDNPA investigated the allegation contacting
both the operator of the site and the Environment Agency. The operator was
advised that the importation of waste water for re-injection from outside
of the site would likely require alternate planning consent to be
sought. The Operator confirmed that they would not bring waste water
into the site for re injection without the relevant planning permission.
There was also a query regarding water being discharged from the site
under the site fence via a pipe. The Environment Agency might hold
further information as a result of their investigation. However, for your
information, the following is an extract received from an email from the
Environment Agency regarding this site: “IGas (the operator of the
Singleton Well Site) is not allowed to pump water from the site into the
surrounding environment. We reviewed this activity, once we were told
about it. We concluded that the discharge posed a low risk to the
environment; to be sure, the operator is conducting an extended period of
monitoring. We will then review the data and determine our final
enforcement response. The operator will not cause a further discharge.”
Following the investigation by the SDNPA enforcement team and discussion
with the operator and the Environment Agency, it was concluded that no
further action was required and the enforcement case was closed on the
11th of October, 2021.
We have received no further allegations in respect of this site but if
there is evidence of a potential breach we would consider it and
investigate as appropriate at that time.
If you are unhappy with the way in which the Authority has handled your
request, you can ask the Authority to review it by sending an email to the
Performance and Project Manager – [email address]
Requests for internal review must be submitted in writing and must be made
no later than 40 working days from the date of our response to you.
If our internal review does not resolve the issue to your complete
satisfaction, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision. You can register a complaint at the “Make a complaint”
section of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website, at the
following link: ICO Complaints webpage. The ICO can be contacted
directly at the following link: ICO Contact webpage.
The ICO also have a phone line that can be used to contact them. The
number is 0303 123 1113
South Downs National Park Authority
Tel: 01730 819221
South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9DH
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