There’s something smelly about campaigners’ attacks on Third Energy over Hydrogen Sulphide
Since the start of 2018, activists protesting against Third Energy’s plans to frack its vertical KM8 well in Kirby Misperton have been trying a new tack to try and disrupt its plans:
They say that there’s a strong chance that gas extracted from the Bowland Shale will contain Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), a colourless toxic gas that smells of rotten eggs at low concentrations, and that not enough has been done to address the risks.
They’ve even sent the Secretary of State, Greg Clark MP a threatening letter saying he mustn’t give Third Energy the final sign-off it needs to start fracking or face some sort of legal challenge if he does.
We’ve pointed out previously how H2S is not just a whimsical “maybe” in the anaerobic digestion of organic waste used to produce biogas, but a known fact that requires sophisticated chemical scrubbers to be installed in order to remove it.
But it’s also found in slurry stores...
Take a look at Ryedale using Google Earth and you’ll soon find that there slurry stores everywhere in this picturesque rural landscape.
So why aren’t the campaigners trying to get them all removed and decommissioned? Have they had lawyers at Leigh Day write to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, demanding a ban on the keeping of slurry in these stores? Maybe they should even petition to ban slurry altogether?
You see, not only is H2S and slurry a known problem, it’s also already claimed the lives of people working in the farming community.
“The inquest at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court highlighted the role of hydrogen sulphide fumes in the tragedy. Generated within slurry alongside more common gases such as methane, hydrogen sulphide is less well known.”
Take a look at this tragic story from 2013 as an example. These poor children have been left without a father after he was overcome by H2S fumes while working with slurry.
It’s such a recognised concern that the Health sand Safety Executive has had to publish guidance on working with slurry safely.
Are there any recorded deaths associated with gas extraction by Third Energy? How about along the route of the gas pipeline that conveys gas to the Knapton Generating Station? It wouldn’t seem so.
As usual, and showing both their complete desperation and willingness to frighten local residents unnecessarily, activists have simply tried to use H2S as a means of bolstering their case. Fortunately, the people charged with regulating fracking and decision-making will already be alert to this.