Fracking Ban Justified by EPA Report – Minister for Environment
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten said on Wednesday, November 30, that an EPA-led research programme on the on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on the Environment and Human Health justified the continued prohibition on hydraulic fracking.
“I am on record as having raised concerns with regard to the use of hydraulic fracturing,” Naughten said, “particularly on such matters as long term well integrity; the potential release of toxic chemicals from the ground; and the significant and considerable potential implications that the use of this technology may have on people in rural communities as a consequence of the spatially dispersed pattern of housing in rural areas.”
The Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction Joint Research Programme (UGEE JRP) was co-funded by the EPA, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
Minister Naughten also that the report also raised issues on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on ground water and air quality, and identified gaps in legislative oversight surrounding the use of hydraulic fracturing in Ireland. Minister Naughten added “It has always been my view that any decision on the use of hydraulic fracturing should be made on the basis of peer-reviewed science. The report of the EPA led Joint Research Programme provides the robust underpinning for decision making on this issue of public concern. I have decided to refer the report to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment for its consideration. I hope this will assist at the Committee Stage debate of the proposed hydraulic fracturing legislation to be progressed by the Oireachtas next year.”