In January 2001 gas leaked from similar storage caverns under the town of Hutchison,Kansas, seven miles away. the resulting explosion destroyed property and killed two residents. Kansas law now prohibits the construction of gas caverns within three miles of a municipal settlement. We have no such law in the UK. Aside from this the area is a designated SSSI and damage would be caused to the salt marsh habitat and the bird life on the mud flats. The saturated brine would be discharged at a rate of eighty million litres per day over a ten year construction period and would kill off any seabed life within fifty metres of the outflow.
A number of local pressure groups have come together to oppose the application which goes before Wyre Borough Council in March for approval - see www.thorntonactiongroup.co.uk for further details.