Refusal to provide a new business with clean water due to Environmental or Public Health concerns.

peter k. roberts made this Environmental Information Regulations request to United Utilities Water PLC
You only have a right in law to access information about the environment from this authority

The request was successful.

peter k. roberts

Dear United Utilities Water PLC,

Please advise me of your rights and obligations to consider any potential hazard posed to the Environment or wellbeing of the general public from the activities of any or all applicants for new water supplies.

Please confirm for how long your company has been bound by these rights and obligations. Could it be that they are still defined in the Water Industry Act 1991, if so could you please direct me to the relevant sections?

Yours faithfully,

peter k. roberts.

Environmental Information’s Regulations Response, United Utilities Water PLC

Thank you for your email on Tue Jun 09 2020 11:13:35 regarding your
Environmental Information’s Regulations (EIR) enquiry, please take this
email as confirmation that your query has been received and will be dealt
with accordingly.

We will aim to reply to you as soon as possible and no later than 20
working days.

Thank you,
Environmental Information’s Regulations (EIR) Team.

This is an automated response, please do not reply to this message.

EMGateway3.uuplc.co.uk made the following annotations

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peter k. roberts left an annotation ()

Acknowledgment received.

Paul, Anamika, United Utilities Water PLC

Dear Mr Roberts

Thank you for your request for information about new water supplies, which we received on Thursday 9 June 2020.

I can confirm that your request has been considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

United Utilities Water Limited (United Utilities) as a water undertaker has a duty to comply with a request for domestic and/or non-domestic water connections in accordance with sections 45 and 55 of the Water Industry Act 1991. In addition United Utilities has further information with regard to water connections and the application process on its website which can be found through this link: https://www.unitedutilities.com/builders...

I hope this information is of assistance to you.

Should you consider that we have not adequately complied with our obligations under EIR, I am also obliged to inform you that you have the right to ask us to carry out an internal review of our response. This can be done by writing to David Hannon Head of Legal, United Utilities, Legal Department, Grasmere House First Floor, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 3LP. Alternatively, you may find it easier to e-mail us directly on [United Utilities request email] , quoting the above reference, and your review request will be forwarded on to Mr Hannon.

Any request for an internal review should explain why you wish a review to be carried out, and should be made within 40 working days of receipt of this letter, and we will reply within 40 working days of receipt. If you are not satisfied with the result of the review, you then have the right to make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Finally, I would be grateful if you would kindly acknowledge receipt of this e-mail.

Yours sincerely

Ms Anamika Paul

Anamika Paul
Regulatory Solicitor
Legal Department
M: 07826 540512 (mobex 80812)
T: 01925 731349
unitedutilities.com

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peter k. roberts

Dear Paul, Anamika,

Many thanks for your response to my FOI Request.

This causes me to raise the following questions which I would be grateful if you could respond to:

1. May I ask whether or not, when considering a request for water supplies from a prospective business operation, the applicant's previous history of water usage and any problems they have caused can be taken into account under the terms of your agreement? If so was any consideration given to these aspects of Cuadrilla's application for substantial amounts of drinking water to be supplied to their latest test fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Westby?

2. Was the possibility of large amounts of contaminated fracking wastewater needing disposal being produced again by Cuadrilla, this time from their Preston New Road, Little Westby fracking site instead of Preese Hall, Weeton, considered and deemed to be acceptable?

3. Was the possibility that by agreeing to supply water to Cuadrilla's Preston New Road, Little Westby fracking site you were enabling test fracking to restart, most likely again causing earthquakes, possibly this time large enough to cause damage to resident's homes, considered and deemed to be acceptable?

4. Were there any Legal Proceedings that Residents of the Fylde or maybe Lancashire County Council could have taken that would have enabled or required United Utilities to refuse to supply Cuadrilla with the water they need to carry out their fracking activities? Possibly on the basis of concerns about public health and safety or shortage of water for public consumption?

Yours sincerely,

peter k. roberts.

peter k. roberts left an annotation ()

I have asked several follow up questions to clarify the situation.

Paul, Anamika, United Utilities Water PLC

Dear Mr Roberts

I acknowledge receipt of your request which falls under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and will aim to get back to you within 20 working days in accordance with the regulations.

Yours sincerely

Ms Anamika Paul

Anamika Paul
Regulatory Solicitor
Legal Department
M: 07826 540512 (mobex 80812)
T: 01925 731349
unitedutilities.com

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peter k. roberts left an annotation ()

Acknowledgment of 4 follow up questions received.

EIRRequests, United Utilities Water PLC

Dear Mr Roberts

Thank you for your request for information about water supplies, which we received on Thursday 2 July 2020.

I can confirm that your request has been considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and respond to your request as follows:

1. May I ask whether or not, when considering a request for water supplies from a prospective business operation, the applicant's previous history of water usage and any problems they have caused can be taken into account under the terms of your agreement? If so was any consideration given to these aspects of Cuadrilla's application for substantial amounts of drinking water to be supplied to their latest test fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Westby?

When a business applies to us for a water supply we carry out a water demand assessment as standard business practice to assess new connections for any impact to local supplies. The assessment did not present any issues or reasons for us to refuse the connection.

2. Was the possibility of large amounts of contaminated fracking wastewater needing disposal being produced again by Cuadrilla, this time from their Preston New Road, Little Westby fracking site instead of Preese Hall, Weeton, considered and deemed to be acceptable?

Cuadrilla did not approach United Utilities for fracking wastewater services from this site at that time. Their permit was for a specialist tanker firm to take the wastewater away.

3. Was the possibility that by agreeing to supply water to Cuadrilla's Preston New Road, Little Westby fracking site you were enabling test fracking to restart, most likely again causing earthquakes, possibly this time large enough to cause damage to resident's homes, considered and deemed to be acceptable?

Cuadrilla is licenced by the Government to undertake its business activities and it is a legitimate organisation. United Utilities has a statutory duty to appraise and supply a service in accordance with the Water Industry Act 1991.

4. Were there any Legal Proceedings that Residents of the Fylde or maybe Lancashire County Council could have taken that would have enabled or required United Utilities to refuse to supply Cuadrilla with the water they need to carry out their fracking activities? Possibly on the basis of concerns about public health and safety or shortage of water for public consumption?

There is no provision for such legal proceedings in the Water Industry Act 1991. The process was licenced and Cuadrilla were a legitimate company at the time and therefore United Utilities has a statutory duty to comply with connection requests in accordance with the Water Industry Act 1991. As mentioned under point 1 United Utilities undertook a demand assessment which considered impact on local supplies. If there would have been an impact United Utilities could refuse the connection.

I hope this information is of assistance to you.

Should you consider that we have not adequately complied with our obligations under EIR, I am also obliged to inform you that you have the right to ask us to carry out an internal review of our response. This can be done by writing to David Hannon Head of Legal, United Utilities, Legal Department, Grasmere House First Floor, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 3LP. Alternatively, you may find it easier to e-mail us directly on [United Utilities request email] , quoting the above reference, and your review request will be forwarded on to Mr Hannon.

Any request for an internal review should explain why you wish a review to be carried out, and should be made within 40 working days of receipt of this letter, and we will reply within 40 working days of receipt. If you are not satisfied with the result of the review, you then have the right to make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Finally, I would be grateful if you would kindly acknowledge receipt of this e-mail.

Yours sincerely

Ms A Paul

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peter k. roberts

Dear EIRRequests,

Attention of Miss A. Paul,

Many thanks for your detailed response to my concerns which I have now studied.

It appears that your company's hands were tied at the time regarding this matter.

However should any onshore unconventional Oil and Gas extraction company wish to revisit Lancashire with a view to carrying out Industrial Scale fracking I would hope that the sheer volume of drinking water they would need would require your company to refuse that request.

Yours sincerely,

peter k. roberts.

Environmental Information’s Regulations Response, United Utilities Water PLC

Thank you for your email on Fri Jul 31 2020 12:21:50 regarding your
Environmental Information’s Regulations (EIR) enquiry, please take this
email as confirmation that your query has been received and will be dealt
with accordingly.

We will aim to reply to you as soon as possible and no later than 20
working days.

Thank you,
Environmental Information’s Regulations (EIR) Team.

This is an automated response, please do not reply to this message.

EMGateway3.uuplc.co.uk made the following annotations

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