COURT HEARS OF TOXIC CONTAMINATION AROUND IGAS SALFORD SITE
At Manchester Magistrates Court today, a District Judge heard expert evidence of contamination around the IGas exploratory drilling site in Barton Moss. Initial findings showed dangerously high levels of toxic PAHs and the hearing concerned the need for the experts to get new samples for further analysis. IGas and Peel Holdings have so far refused access to the site.
Today was a preparatory hearing in relation to defendants who face 51 charges connected to the anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year.
With previous press restrictions lifted today, some of the details have emerged about massive toxic contamination around the controversial IGas exploratory drilling site, the scene of huge anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year.
At Manchester Magistrates Court, District Judge Prowse acknowledged the “enormous public interest” in the case and the “dangerously high concentrations” of PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) found from samples taken near the IGas site.
PAHs include acenaphthylene, anthracene, benz[a]anthracene and chrysene – toxic carcinogenic substances which have major affects on human health, as well as on livestock and crops.
Expert witness for the defence, Dr Aidan Foley, told the court he had tested for 16 compounds but needed to go back to the site to get more samples so that he could fingerprint the actual source of the contamination. Both Peel Holdings, the owners of the land, and IGas, which rented its site from Peel, had refused access.
Dr Foley named a number of sources from where the contamination could have come from, including the M62 which goes past the site, historical dumping, Barton Aerodrome or from plant and machinery used at the IGas drilling site… “Would the logical conclusion be that it must have come off the site?” asked the Judge… “Yes” replied Dr Foley.