OR/15/067 Introduction

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Smedley, P, Ward, R, Allen, G, Baptie, B, Daraktchieva, Z, Jones, D, Jordan, C, Purvis, R and Cigna, F. 2015. Site selection strategy for environmental monitoring in connection with shale-gas exploration: Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire and Fylde, Lancashire. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/15/067.

A programme of environmental baseline monitoring has been initiated in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, in response to a planning application for shale-gas exploration, submitted by Third Energy in June 2015. The application is to carry out hydraulic fracturing and associated investigations in five phases (depth ranges 2123–3044 m below ground level) within the Kirby Misperton 8 borehole [SE77136 79004], hereinafter described as KM8.

The BGS-led environmental baseline monitoring incorporates seven work packages (WPs) covering six aspects of environmental investigation:

WP1 Water monitoring (surface water and groundwater);
WP2 Seismicity;
WP3 Ground motion; WP4 Air composition; WP5 Soil gas;
WP6 Radon in air;
WP7 Project management, communications and dissemination.
WP4 incorporates additional air-quality monitoring by the University of York (NCAS) in Fylde, Lancashire, as part of a sister baseline investigation. This adds air-quality monitoring to the portfolio of environmental work carried out by the above partner organisations in Fylde and brings into line the scope of monitoring of the two investigations.

This report outlines the site-selection strategies used for each of the monitoring work packages for acquiring representative baseline environmental data against which potential future changes and impacts of shale-gas exploration and development can be assessed.