The Environment Agency (EA) is likely to approve environmental permits for Cuadrilla to frack at a site in Lancashire.
It has announced a second consultation during which the public can comment on the agency’s draft permit.
The Environment Agency has been carrying out a “rigorous assessment” of Cuadrilla’s applications and the comments made by the public during the first consultation. The draft permits set out conditions needed to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste at the proposed site in Plumpton.
“Based on this assessment, the Environment Agency is minded to grant Cuadrilla the environmental permits needed to carry out their operations and welcomes any new relevant information for consideration before making a final decision”, the agency said.
Cuadrilla said it would “comply fully” with the requirements.
The EA will make a final decision next year following the results of the second consultation.
The UK Government has given the go-ahead to set up a national fracking college as part of its plans to create a wave of next generation shale gas extraction engineers.