West Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault - Correspondence with Environment Agency

Marianne Birkby made this Freedom of Information request to Environment Agency

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Dear Environment Agency,

I have recieved a FOI reply from the British Geological Survey (see below) which states that the BGS has not been asked for advice and has carried out no surveys regarding the impacts on groundwater and geology of the proposal by West Cumbria Mining to abstract fresh water from the Byerstead Fault.

West Cumbria Mining have refused, despite repeated questioning, to reveal the quantity of fresh water, daily at the height of coal production, that they propose to abstract from the Byerstead Fault for onsite processing/washing etc.

Under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations
(2004) , I would like sight of all correspondence between yourselves and West Cumbria Mining regarding the plan to abstract freshwater from the Byerstead Fault.

Thank you

yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby

-----------------------------
BGS - FOI reply

Dear Marianne

Our ref: IDA 276261

Thank you for your request made under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. Because your request concerns environmental information we have
considered it under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations
2004.

In answer to your questions, BGS has given no advice to West Cumbria
Mining as to the water abstraction rates likely to be available from the
Byerstead Fault. We also hold no groundwater monitoring or surveys
undertaken for West Cumbria Mining and therefore exception 12(4)(a)
applies in that BGS 'does not hold that information'.

I hope this fully answers your questions. If you feel we have failed to
comply with your request in accordance with the requirements of the
Regulations, you have the right to ask for an internal review (Regulation
11). Internal review requests should be submitted in writing within 40
working days after the date on which you believe we failed to comply with
the requirements – normally the date of receipt of our response to your
request. This should be addressed to The Complaints Officer at NERC,
Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wilts SN2 1EU. There is no
charge for this review.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at the Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 08456 306060, or: 01625 545745. Website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/

Regards

Rachel Cartwright MSc MCLIP

Enquiry Service Manager

p +44 (0)115 936 3143

e [2][British Geological Survey request email]
w [3]www.bgs.ac.uk

British Geological Survey | Nicker Hill | Keyworth | Nottingham NG12 5GG |
UK

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

5 Attachments

Please note this is an auto reply message.

 

Thank you – the Environment Agency has received your email.

 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting staff and
resources within the Environment Agency, we may take longer than the
normal 10 working days we aim to reply by.

 

Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations state
that a public authority must respond to requests for information within 20
working days.

 

However we will aim to provide an answer as soon as we can.  

 

For information on what you can expect from us and our full service
commitment to you then please visit our website: 

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

If you have made a data request, you may wish to look at
[2]www.data.gov.uk to see if the data you have requested is available
online.
  

Usually we make no charge for providing information. In some cases we may
make a charge for licensed re-use of our data. Where this is the case, we
will notify you in advance.

 

If you have provided any personal information (also called personal data)
in your enquiry, the Environment Agency will follow all applicable UK and
EU data protection laws in how we treat it. We may use your information to
help you with your enquiry, if necessary. More details on your rights and
how we will process your personal information can be found in our Personal
Information Charter:

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

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If your email was to report an environmental incident i.e. pollution, fish
in distress, dumping of hazardous waste etc. then please call our
Freephone 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.   

 

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( Tel: 03708 506 506

: Web Site: [5]www.gov.uk/environment-agency

 

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Dear Environment Agency,

The response to my question is overdue ..the EA should normally have responded promptly and by 22nd September

Yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

5 Attachments

Please note this is an auto reply message.

 

Thank you – the Environment Agency has received your email.

 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting staff and
resources within the Environment Agency, we may take longer than the
normal 10 working days we aim to reply by.

 

Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations state
that a public authority must respond to requests for information within 20
working days.

 

However due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting staff and resources
we may take longer than the 20 working days to reply. We will aim to
provide an answer as soon as we can.  

 

For information on what you can expect from us and our full service
commitment to you then please visit our website: 

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

If you have made a data request, you may wish to look at
[2]www.data.gov.uk to see if the data you have requested is available
online.
  

Usually we make no charge for providing information. In some cases we may
make a charge for licensed re-use of our data. Where this is the case, we
will notify you in advance.

 

If you have provided any personal information (also called personal data)
in your enquiry, the Environment Agency will follow all applicable UK and
EU data protection laws in how we treat it. We may use your information to
help you with your enquiry, if necessary. More details on your rights and
how we will process your personal information can be found in our Personal
Information Charter:

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

Environmental Incident

 

If your email was to report an environmental incident i.e. pollution, fish
in distress, dumping of hazardous waste etc. then please call our
Freephone 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.   

 

For more details about incident reporting please see our website:

[4]https://www.gov.uk/report-an-environment...

Kind Regards,

 

National Customer Contact Centre - Part of National Operations Services

( Tel: 03708 506 506

: Web Site: [5]www.gov.uk/environment-agency

 

Click an icon to keep in touch with us:-

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[7]cid:image002.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[8]cid:image003.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[9]cid:image004.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[10]cid:image005.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0

 

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
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still check any attachment before opening it. We may have to make this
message and any reply to it public if asked to under the Freedom of
Information Act, Data Protection Act or for litigation. Email messages and
attachments sent to or from any Environment Agency address may also be
accessed by someone other than the sender or recipient, for business
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Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Good morning,

In order to track your request down, we will need more information.

Please provide a reference number assigned to your request and we will chase this up for you.

Kind Regards,

National Customer Contact Centre
Environment Agency

E Tel: 03708 506 506
T Web Site: www.gov.uk/environment-agency

Click an icon to keep in touch with us:-

show quoted sections

Dear Enquiries, Unit,

You have mot given a reference number (??) just acknowledged the request ..here is the request. I would appreciate a speedy reply given this is already overdue ..

Thank you

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

Original Request below sent 24 August 2020

Dear Environment Agency,

I have recieved a FOI reply from the British Geological Survey (see below) which states that the BGS has not been asked for advice and has carried out no surveys regarding the impacts on groundwater and geology of the proposal by West Cumbria Mining to abstract fresh water from the Byerstead Fault.

West Cumbria Mining have refused, despite repeated questioning, to reveal the quantity of fresh water, daily at the height of coal production, that they propose to abstract from the Byerstead Fault for onsite processing/washing etc.

Under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations
(2004) , I would like sight of all correspondence between yourselves and West Cumbria Mining regarding the plan to abstract freshwater from the Byerstead Fault.

Thank you

yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby

-----------------------------
BGS - FOI reply

Dear Marianne

Our ref: IDA 276261

Thank you for your request made under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. Because your request concerns environmental information we have
considered it under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations
2004.

In answer to your questions, BGS has given no advice to West Cumbria
Mining as to the water abstraction rates likely to be available from the
Byerstead Fault. We also hold no groundwater monitoring or surveys
undertaken for West Cumbria Mining and therefore exception 12(4)(a)
applies in that BGS 'does not hold that information'.

I hope this fully answers your questions. If you feel we have failed to
comply with your request in accordance with the requirements of the
Regulations, you have the right to ask for an internal review (Regulation
11). Internal review requests should be submitted in writing within 40
working days after the date on which you believe we failed to comply with
the requirements – normally the date of receipt of our response to your
request. This should be addressed to The Complaints Officer at NERC,
Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wilts SN2 1EU. There is no
charge for this review.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at the Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 08456 306060, or: 01625 545745. Website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/

Regards

Rachel Cartwright MSc MCLIP

Enquiry Service Manager

p +44 (0)115 936 3143

e [2][British Geological Survey request email]
w [3]www.bgs.ac.uk

British Geological Survey | Nicker Hill | Keyworth | Nottingham NG12 5GG |
UK

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

5 Attachments

Please note this is an auto reply message.

 

Thank you – the Environment Agency has received your email.

 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting staff and
resources within the Environment Agency, we may take longer than the
normal 10 working days we aim to reply by.

 

Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations state
that a public authority must respond to requests for information within 20
working days.

 

However due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting staff and resources
we may take longer than the 20 working days to reply. We will aim to
provide an answer as soon as we can.  

 

For information on what you can expect from us and our full service
commitment to you then please visit our website: 

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

If you have made a data request, you may wish to look at
[2]www.data.gov.uk to see if the data you have requested is available
online.
  

Usually we make no charge for providing information. In some cases we may
make a charge for licensed re-use of our data. Where this is the case, we
will notify you in advance.

 

If you have provided any personal information (also called personal data)
in your enquiry, the Environment Agency will follow all applicable UK and
EU data protection laws in how we treat it. We may use your information to
help you with your enquiry, if necessary. More details on your rights and
how we will process your personal information can be found in our Personal
Information Charter:

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

Environmental Incident

 

If your email was to report an environmental incident i.e. pollution, fish
in distress, dumping of hazardous waste etc. then please call our
Freephone 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.   

 

For more details about incident reporting please see our website:

[4]https://www.gov.uk/report-an-environment...

Kind Regards,

 

National Customer Contact Centre - Part of National Operations Services

( Tel: 03708 506 506

: Web Site: [5]www.gov.uk/environment-agency

 

Click an icon to keep in touch with us:-

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[7]cid:image002.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[8]cid:image003.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[9]cid:image004.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0[10]cid:image005.gif@01D572CA.A26165F0

 

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else. We
have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should
still check any attachment before opening it. We may have to make this
message and any reply to it public if asked to under the Freedom of
Information Act, Data Protection Act or for litigation. Email messages and
attachments sent to or from any Environment Agency address may also be
accessed by someone other than the sender or recipient, for business
purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. http://www.data.gov.uk/
3. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
4. https://www.gov.uk/report-an-environment...
5. http://www.gov.uk/environment-agency
6. http://www.facebook.com/environmentagenc...
7. http://www.twitter.com/EnvAgency
8. http://www.youtube.com/EnvironmentAgencyTV
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10. http://www.linkedin.com/company/environm...

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Good afternoon

I have passed your e-mail to the local customer team who will deal with your request.

The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations state that a public authority must respond to requests for information within 20 working days, but we aim to respond to all enquiries as quickly as we can.

You can find more information about our service commitment by clicking on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

You can contact our customer team directly on the contact details below, or call the National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506506 who will transfer you to the area team.

Please quote your enquiry reference 200924/SW10 in any correspondence with us regarding this matter.

Customers and Engagement
Environment Agency
Cumbria and Lancashire Area
Ghyll Mount
Gillan Way
Penrith 40 Business Park
PENRITH
CA11 9BP

Kind regards

Customer Service Adviser
National Customer Contact Centre - Part of National Operations Services
Environment Agency

E Tel: 03708 506 506
T Web Site: www.gov.uk/environment-agency

Click an icon to keep in touch with us:-

show quoted sections

CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Marianne

 

Thank you for contacting the Environment Agency regarding West Cumbria
Mining Abstraction. Please accept our apologies as unforunately we don’t
seem to have received your original email request. I have logged this now
and forwarded to the correct team and hope to get a response to you as
soon as we possibly can.

 

In the meantime you may wish to look at [1]www.data.gov.uk to see if the
data you have requested is available for you online.

 

For further information on what you can expect from us and our full
service commitment to you, please click this link;
[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

If you need to contact me in the meantime, please do not hesitate to do
so using the details below and quoting reference number CL186547KR

 

Thanks

Karen

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP

[3][email address]
[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

2 Attachments

Dear Marianne

 

Due to the present situation with Corona Virus and the fact that our staff
are having to work from home we ask that you bear with us at this
difficult time.  We try to respond to all information requests within 20
working days and we appreciate that your request has now passed 20 days.
  All staff are having to work from home whilst dealing with their own
personal circumstances and some are finding it hard to access files or
computer programmes at home.

 

We will get your information to you as soon as we possible can and we
thank you for your patience at this time.

 

Karen Rooke

Customer and Engagement Team

 

 

[1]cid:image021.png@01D61CAF.4D4B8DE0

 

 

 

From: CMBLNC Info Requests
Sent: 25 September 2020 14:13
To: [FOI #686917 email]
Subject: CL186547KR : 200924/SW10 RE: 200923/CM06 - Re: Freedom of
Information request - West Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault
- Correspondence with Environment Agency

 

Dear Marianne

 

Thank you for contacting the Environment Agency regarding West Cumbria
Mining Abstraction. Please accept our apologies as unforunately we don’t
seem to have received your original email request. I have logged this now
and forwarded to the correct team and hope to get a response to you as
soon as we possibly can.

 

In the meantime you may wish to look at [2]www.data.gov.uk to see if the
data you have requested is available for you online.

 

For further information on what you can expect from us and our full
service commitment to you, please click this link;
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

If you need to contact me in the meantime, please do not hesitate to do
so using the details below and quoting reference number CL186547KR

 

Thanks

Karen

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP

[4][email address]
[5]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

5 Attachments

Dear Marianne

 

Enquiry regarding Wst Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault.

 

Thank you for your enquiry and apologies for the delay in your response.

 

We respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

The applicant/company has modified their planning application such that
they will be creating a new tunnel rather than accessing the old mine
workings. This will reduce the need for abstraction of the water and any
associated problems with doing so as the original abstraction proposals
were shelved in favour of an alternative scheme that avoids the anhydrite
mine.

 

Please find attached our planning correspondence documents which are
public documents.

 

Please refer to [1]Open Government Licence which explains the permitted
use of this information.

 

Please get in touch if you have any further queries or contact us within
two months if you’d like us to review the information we have sent.

 

Thanks

 

Karen

 

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP
[2][email address]
[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

 

 

 

 

From: CMBLNC Info Requests
Sent: 25 September 2020 14:13
To: [FOI #686917 email]
Subject: CL186547KR : 200924/SW10 RE: 200923/CM06 - Re: Freedom of
Information request - West Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault
- Correspondence with Environment Agency

 

Dear Marianne

 

Thank you for contacting the Environment Agency regarding West Cumbria
Mining Abstraction. Please accept our apologies as unforunately we don’t
seem to have received your original email request. I have logged this now
and forwarded to the correct team and hope to get a response to you as
soon as we possibly can.

 

In the meantime you may wish to look at [4]www.data.gov.uk to see if the
data you have requested is available for you online.

 

For further information on what you can expect from us and our full
service commitment to you, please click this link;
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

If you need to contact me in the meantime, please do not hesitate to do
so using the details below and quoting reference number CL186547KR

 

Thanks

Karen

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP

[6][email address]
[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear CMBLNC Info Requests,

Thank you for the reply (below) but it does not in any way answer the question

WCM propose to abstract fresh water from the Byerstead Fault for use on site. This is from their presentation to Cumbria County Council on fresh water usage:

“Water is heavily used in coal processing and would be obtained from the following sources: Groundwater (Byerstead Fault)" West Cumbria Mining

West Cumbria Mining have made much publicly of their plan to recycle runoff water - but it is clear this would not be enough to facilitate the enormous amount of fresh water necessary to wash impurities from mined out coal - this is why they quietly state that the main source of freshwater would be groundwater from the Byerstead Fault.

Our original question was for sight of all the correspondence between yourself and WCM on the proposed abstraction of freshwater for use on site from the Byerstead Fault. This should include correspondence of impacts upon hydrology and the West Cumbria Aquifer.

Has the Environment Agency asked West Cumbria Mining HOW MUCH GROUNDWATER PER DAY WOULD BE ABSTRACTED FROM THE BYERSTEAD FAULT AT PEAK PRODUCTION OF THE MINE?

If not, we ask that you do ask this question of WCM as a matter of utmost urgency.

This is key. It is information that should be available in the public domain. West Cumbria's fresh water is already stressed. West Cumbria gets much of its fresh water from boreholes a few miles from Sellafield which are accessing the same West Cumbria Aquifer that the mine would be abstracting groundwater from. We still have no idea how much fresh water would be abstracted from the Byerstead Fault. West Cumbria Mining are not saying and apparently the Environment Agency, the BGS and other regulators have not asked.

We ask again:

HOW MUCH GROUNDWATER PER DAY WOULD BE ABSTRACTED FROM THE BYERSTEAD FAULT AT PEAK PRODUCTION OF THE MINE?

If WCM are definitely not going to use groundwater onsite abstracted from the Byerstead Fault , then we can stop asking. If they are, then we need to know HOW MUCH?

Please reply at your earliest opportunity. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Marianne

Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY - PREVIOUS REPLY
Dear Marianne

Enquiry regarding Wst Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault.

Thank you for your enquiry and apologies for the delay in your response.

We respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The applicant/company has modified their planning application such that
they will be creating a new tunnel rather than accessing the old mine
workings. This will reduce the need for abstraction of the water and any
associated problems with doing so as the original abstraction proposals
were shelved in favour of an alternative scheme that avoids the anhydrite
mine.

Please find attached our planning correspondence documents which are
public documents.

Please refer to [1]Open Government Licence which explains the permitted
use of this information.

Please get in touch if you have any further queries or contact us within
two months if you’d like us to review the information we have sent.

Thanks

Karen

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP
[2][email address]
[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

From: CMBLNC Info Requests
Sent: 25 September 2020 14:13
To: [FOI #686917 email]
Subject: CL186547KR : 200924/SW10 RE: 200923/CM06 - Re: Freedom of
Information request - West Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault
- Correspondence with Environment Agency

Dear Marianne

Thank you for contacting the Environment Agency regarding West Cumbria
Mining Abstraction. Please accept our apologies as unforunately we don’t
seem to have received your original email request. I have logged this now
and forwarded to the correct team and hope to get a response to you as
soon as we possibly can.

In the meantime you may wish to look at [4]www.data.gov.uk to see if the
data you have requested is available for you online.

For further information on what you can expect from us and our full
service commitment to you, please click this link;
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

If you need to contact me in the meantime, please do not hesitate to do
so using the details below and quoting reference number CL186547KR

Thanks

Karen

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP

[6][email address]
[7]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

show quoted sections

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Are you the owner of any commercial copyright on this page?

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

Thank you for your email.

 

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Customers and Engagement Team, Cumbria and Lancashire

Environment Agency

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Dear Environment Agency,

Just sending a reminder about the question "Under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations
(2004) , I would like sight of all correspondence between yourselves and West Cumbria Mining regarding the plan to abstract freshwater from the Byerstead Fault."

Yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

5 Attachments

Please note this is an auto reply message.

 

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Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Good Morning

I have passed your e-mail to the local customer team who will deal with your request.

The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations state that a public authority must respond to requests for information within 20 working days.

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Please quote your enquiry reference 201027/ND02 in any correspondence with us regarding this matter.

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Environment Agency

Tel: 03708 506 506
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CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Good Morning

 

Please accept our apologies, most of our staff are still home working due
to covid-19 and still having technical issues. I have chased your response
and as soon as the teams reply I will send this on to you.

 

Regards Karen

 

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP

[1][email address]
[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Marianne

 

Enquiry regarding West Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault

 

Thank you for your enquiry which was received on 23 October 2020.

 

We respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

We have not asked West Cumbria Mining how much groundwater they plan to
abstract.  We would only ask a customer this information if they
approached us with plans to abstract without providing this detail and we
have not received any application or enquiry from West Cumbria Mining for
either a groundwater investigation consent or abstraction licence.  A
groundwater abstraction would require an abstraction licence if the volume
is above 20 cubic metres per day. Prior to applying for a licence the
applicant would require a groundwater investigation consent.  This would
help us to assess the impact of any abstraction on the environment and
other abstractors.  

 

Also just to add the Byerstead Fault isn’t a source of groundwater in its
own right, just a feature in the St Bees Sandstone in the area. 

 

We have searched on a national list of incoming abstraction licences that
have yet to come to Cumbria & Lancashire Area and there is no application
from West Cumbria Mining. Thus as far as we can tell no application for
any Water Abstraction Licence’s permission has come to us.

 

Please refer to [1]Open Government Licence which explains the permitted
use of this information.

 

Please get in touch if you have any further queries or contact us within
two months if you’d like us to review the information we have sent.

 

Thanks

 

Karen

 

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP
[2][email address]
[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear CMBLNC Info Requests,

Thank you for your reply to our question in which you state that you have not asked WCM how much water they would abstract from the Byerstead Fault and therefore there has been no hydrological or geological research on the (unknown) large quantities of fresh water that would be abstracted.

I would like you to clarify exactly Why the Environment Agency has completely ignored the issue of ground water abstraction from the Byerstead Fault in their advice to Cumbria County Council regarding West Cumbria Mining's proposed development ? Fresh Water usage is a key issue especially in water stressed West Cumbria which gets much of its water from boreholes (which access the same aquifer that WCM would tap into for coal washing)

West Cumbria Mining have clearly stated their intention of abstracting ground water from the Byerstead Fault as part of their planning application to Cumbria County Council.

Byerstead Fault is named as the primary groundwater source - This is what West Cumbria Mining say :

"Water use and Drainage
• Water is heavily used in coal processing and would be obtained from the following sources:
• Groundwater (Byerstead Fault)
• Recycled from the CHPP
• Mine water ingress
• Moisture in the coal
• Harvested rain-water
• Surplus water (storm-water) would be discharged to sea via an existing outfall to the north
• During construction temporary storage lagoons would be created"

Many thanks

Marianne

your original reply is below

Dear Marianne

Enquiry regarding West Cumbria Mining Abstraction from Byerstead Fault

Thank you for your enquiry which was received on 23 October 2020.

We respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

We have not asked West Cumbria Mining how much groundwater they plan to
abstract. We would only ask a customer this information if they
approached us with plans to abstract without providing this detail and we
have not received any application or enquiry from West Cumbria Mining for
either a groundwater investigation consent or abstraction licence. A
groundwater abstraction would require an abstraction licence if the volume
is above 20 cubic metres per day. Prior to applying for a licence the
applicant would require a groundwater investigation consent. This would
help us to assess the impact of any abstraction on the environment and
other abstractors.

Also just to add the Byerstead Fault isn’t a source of groundwater in its
own right, just a feature in the St Bees Sandstone in the area.

We have searched on a national list of incoming abstraction licences that
have yet to come to Cumbria & Lancashire Area and there is no application
from West Cumbria Mining. Thus as far as we can tell no application for
any Water Abstraction Licence’s permission has come to us.

Please refer to [1]Open Government Licence which explains the permitted
use of this information.

Please get in touch if you have any further queries or contact us within
two months if you’d like us to review the information we have sent.

Thanks

Karen

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP
[2][email address]
[3]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Good afternoon

 

Thank you for your email. I will pass this onto the relevant teams and get
back to you in due course.

 

Regards Karen

 

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP[1][email address]
[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540    

 

 

 

 

 

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CMBLNC Info Requests, Environment Agency

2 Attachments

Dear Marianne

 

Thank you for your further enquiry which was received on 11 November 2020.
Please see response from our teams below.

 

We respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

We have not ignored the issue of abstraction when advising Cumbria County
Council on this planning application, but the extent to which we can
comment on abstraction through planning is influenced by the fact we
regulate this process through Water Resources legislation.  Where proposed
developments are controlled though separate regulatory regimes, we have to
have regard to paragraph 183 of the National Planning Policy Framework
2019 as set out below:-

 

183. The focus of planning policies and decisions should be on whether
proposed development is an acceptable use of land, rather than the control
of processes or emissions (where these are subject to separate pollution
control regimes). Planning decisions should assume that these regimes will
operate effectively. Equally, where a planning decision has been made on a
particular development, the planning issues should not be revisited
through the permitting regimes operated by pollution control authorities.

 

The NPPF is clear in that planning authorities must assume other
regulatory regimes will operate effectively. If there are reasons why we
cannot issue a licence for the proposed abstraction, this will be
determined through the Abstraction Licensing regime and not the planning
system. As no application has been submitted to us to date for the
proposed abstraction, we could not provide detailed advice to the planning
authority on abstraction matters without prejudicing the determination of
any subsequent abstraction licence application.  

 

The [1]Derwent and West Cumbria abstraction licensing strategy (February
2013) provides details of the water availability in the area.  However in
the case of groundwater availability we updated our understanding and
resource availability in 2015 as shown in the attached document.  This
states that in the St Bees unit, where the West Cumbria Mining site is
located, there is 11.35 Ml/d or 11,350 m3/d.  Given these volumes, the
figure of 136m3/h as quoted by West Cumbria Mining in Table 5.6 of their
Environmental Statement, their planning submission does not exceed
available resources.

 

Please refer to [2]Open Government Licence which explains the permitted
use of this information.

 

Please get in touch if you have any further queries or contact us within
two months if you’d like us to review the information we have sent.

 

Thanks

 

Karen

 

Karen Rooke
Customers and Engagement Officer, Cumbria and Lancashire
Environment Agency | Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way, Penrith 40 Business Park,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9BP

[3][email address]
[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D65541.CAF86540

 

 

 

 

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