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No signs of pollution at UK CBM site

World Coal,

Dart Energy’s coalbed methane (CBM) site on Daneshill Road near Retford, UK, has shown no signs of ground pollution, following soil tests conducted at the site.

The site lies adjacent to a former Royal Ordnance munitions factory dating from the Second World War. Environmental activists had claimed the drilling work in search of CBM would take place on land contaminated by chemicals used during wartime production.

Notts County Council earlier confirmed that the boundary of Dart’s site does not overlap with the land formerly occupied by the factory, and that the area was not listed as having been contaminated, as it was cleaned up and restored to agricultural use after the war ended

However, Dart Energy have now conducted soil tests under the supervision of the Environment Agency to establish whether any pollution remains in the ground.

13 samples were collected by consultancy firm RPS and transported to a laboratory in Hertfordshire, where they were examined.

After being referenced against explosive materials via chromatography techniques, all the samples were found to be below the level of detection for dangerous compounds.

"As we fully expected it shows nothing out of the ordinary and totally vindicates our long-held position, based on our established site screening programme, preliminary site investigations and published historical site records, that the site is free of any soil contamination and is safe for drilling operations," said Dart in a statement.

The company expect drilling to take between 3 – 4 weeks, after which they will have extracted a sample of the natural gas content and will leave the site. They have pledged to return the area to its previous agricultural use.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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