Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Transport of frack waste fluid from Preston New Road to Leeds

Date released
21 August 2019
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

Do companies that transport waste containing NORM's need a particular permit to do so?

I understand a company called Greens Environmental transported the frack waste flowback containing NORM's from Cuadrilla's fracking operations at Preston New Road to FCC Environment/Recycling to be treated at Knostrop Sewage Works in Leeds. Can you confirm that Greens Environmental have the necessary permits for transporting radioactive waste and please could you provide a copy?

Were the Greens Environmental tankers that transported the radioactive waste from Preston New Road to Leeds driven straight to Leeds or were they taken to a holding/storage site? If the latter how long was it before they were transported to Knostrop and did the holding site company have the necessary permit to store radioactive waste?

Did the tankers transporting the frack waste fluid by Greens Environmental and Mulberry Waste Limited display the correct radioactive signage?

How many flowback waste tankers were used to transport the waste in total and how did this breakdown by each company transporting them (Mulberry Waste and Greens Environmental)?

What dates did the flowback tankers leave Preston New Road and what dates did they arrive at their destination for treatment?

Information released

I confirm that ONR does not hold the information requested. The Environment Agency (EA) may hold the information. Details of how to contact EA can be found on the contact page on their website.

However, you may find the following information useful:

There is no legal requirement for a permit from ONR for the transport of radioactive material.

In relation to ONR’s regulatory vires, any radioactive material to be carried by road within Great Britain must be done in accordance with the requirements of the following regulations:

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods refers to the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), please refer to ADR 2019  which is the current version.

Regulations 5, 6 and 7 of IRR17 stipulate that an employer is required to make a notification, apply for registration or seek consent as transport is specifically defined as a practice in IRR17 for this purpose. This requirement depends upon the amount of radioactive material to be transported. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the 'appropriate authority' to which all applications in respect of transport must be made.

This can be done via the Ionising Radiation section on the HSE website . Radioactive material is defined in ADR 2019, in particular the section on ADR, as any material containing radionuclides where both the activity concentration and the total activity in the consignment exceed the values specified in to Depending on the values of the individual radionuclides present and/or mixtures of radionuclides this material may not be classed as radioactive for transport.

Exemptions applied


PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable