Public Gives Feedback on Planned Drilling of 3rd Geothermal Well

BRADES – An information evening to gather feedback on Environmental and Social Impact concerns related to the drilling of a 3rd geothermal well was held last Thursday November 5, 2015 at the Brades Arts & Education Centre.

A recurring theme was the need for more information from government about the entire project, including why a third well was necessary when the first two have not yet begun producing energy.

11-8-15-GeothermalEIA2Erwin Edwards (PhD) of Atom Solutions is the lead consultant on the project to conduct an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the drilling of a 3rd geothermal well.

Excerpts from the Summary Background Information Document

“Atom Solutions Inc. has been contracted to provide specialist environmental services to the Government of Montserrat for the effective management of geothermal test drilling and related activities on the Island. The assignment comprises an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed drilling of a 3rd production well, including Environmental and Social Management Plans.

Sam Rhys-Williams of CRM
Sam Rhys-Williams of CRM

Project Description

The target area for the new well is sited on St. George’s Hill, just inside Zone V. It is proposed that this area has both hot fluid and locally high permeability. Two previous wells were successfully drilled in 2013/2014 under Phase 1. Phase 2 which covers the exploratory drilling for the 3rd well, will help to make a final decision about the setup of a geothermal plant in Montserrat.

The Government of Montserrat has established a Geothermal Steering Committee to oversee the drilling. The EIA will identify, predict, evaluate and mitigate the biophysical, social and other relevant effects of the development project prior to any major decisions making.

11-8-15-GeothermalEIAA recent provisional list of impacts and issues for consideration in the impact assessment is shown below.

  • Impacts on surface water/groundwater.
  • Solid and liquid wastes.
  • Landscape and visual including cultural and archaeological
  • Sociological context (Geography Based Groups & Interested Based Groups)
  • Air quality (noise and vibration)
  • Transport and infrastructure including vegetative clearance for access roads
  • Impacts on fauna and flora including marine life
  • Impacts that may occur due to accidental events
  • Soil and land contamination.
  • Induced landslides.
  • Steam discharge (Temperature/SO²)
  • Accidental spills and overflows
  • Green House Gas Emissions
  • Atmospheric Heat Pollution
  • Induced seismicity
  • Erosion from Water Discharge
  • Land Acquisition & Land Use Conflicts
  • Economic Disruptions
  • Land take
  • Subsidence/Sinking/etc.
  • Induced Landslides

All relevant impacts will be assessed during the scoping phase and a definitive list prepared to include any areas not currently identified.”

The public is invited to provide feedback on their concerns related to the execution of the project by emailing