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Posted on: 2 October 2017
Environmental Law News UpdateTweet
In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan and William Upton consider the concerns expressed by rural landowners over long-term fracking liabilities and new environmental practitioners joining Six Pump Court Chambers.
Rural owners express concerns over long-term fracking liabilities
The Countryside Landowners Association has written to Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry & Energy, expressing concerns over delays by the Government in addressing the protection of landowners from the potential long-term consequences of fracking activities. The CLA identifies two potential areas of anxiety. The first is about the inability of an insolvent operator to abandon a well in an orderly fashion, leaving the landowner to make good the situation. The second is about when, after the proper abandonment of a well and surrender of the associated licence, the residual liability will fall upon the Government. The CLA is worried that the Government has created no clear régime for ongoing inspection and monitoring despite acknowledging the problem in 2014, since when fracking activities have burgeoned with active Government encouragement.
The CLA’s worries are understandable. Even an activity as unfortunately everyday and mundane as the fly-tipping of domestic waste can give rise to significant costs and liabilities for innocent landowners. The capacity for unmanaged fracking wells to produce land contamination is large, as too is the potential residual liability of any current owner of them for clean-up costs under the Part IIA régime.
Six Pump Court Chambers – new tenants
We are also pleased to announce that Mark Davies and Natasha Hausdorff (profiles to follow) have joined us as tenants at Six Pump Court, following their successful completion of pupillage. They have already had extensive experience on their feet, and they will continue to practice across the range of chambers work. Mark may be known to many of our readers through his work as one of UKELA’s Student Advisers. Natasha is a former solicitor and has a strong existing interest in international law.
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