Third Energy has been granted environmental permits to carry out hydraulic fracturing in North Yorkshire.
The decision follows a “rigorous assessment” of the company’s proposals as well as comments submitted during two public consultations, according to the Environment Agency.
The three permits set out conditions that Third Energy must follow in order to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality as well as ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste materials.
Third Energy wants to extract shale gas near Kirby Misperton but still needs planning permission.
Earlier this year North Yorkshire County Council delayed a decision on whether to allow fracking or not.
Martin Christmas, Environment Manager for North Yorkshire, said: “We are confident that these environmental permits set out the right conditions to ensure that people and the environment are protected.
“Should Third Energy receive the appropriate planning permission and begin the permitted activities, we will stringently enforce the conditions of the permits to ensure that waste is managed properly and local groundwater is protected.”
Third Energy said the permit marks an “important step” towards the project.
Operations Director John Dewar added: “This is another important step towards having the necessary permissions in place to fracture the KM8 well and evaluate the potential of the shale resource to produce gas commercially.
The permit requires us to monitor emissions to air, water, seismicity and noise during and after the operation, in accordance with an agreed Environmental Monitoring Plan, to identify if the hydraulic fracturing has created any measurable change to the baseline conditions. This monitoring is important as it will show whether or not our operations have impacted conditions and provide reassurance to both the residents and the wider local community.”
Fracking under national parks in the UK was given the green light last December however DECC’s survey revealed there is more opposition than support for fracking, especially among those who know about the controversial process.