Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr Peter Lilley(Hitchin and Harpenden): To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what discussions her Department has had with the Environment Agency on post-abandonment monitoring of onshore shale gas wells; and what steps she plans to take to ensure a monitoring regime is in place.

    Andrea Leadsom: The duration of monitoring required after decommissioning/well closure will be assessed on a site-by-site basis by the Environment Agency. The environmental permit requires the operator to have in place a closure and rehabilitation plan, which must be agreed with the Environment Agency before decommissioning begins. The operator will not be allowed to surrender their permit until the Environment Agency is satisfied that there is no-ongoing risk to the environment.