Harkin Hammers European Parliament On Exclusion of Fracking Environmental Legislation

Harkin Hammers European Parliament On Exclusion of Fracking Environmental Legislation by Independent MEP Marian Harkin, March 21, 2014, Sligo Today
The decision of the European Commission to omit the need for Environmental Impact Assessments of hydraulic fracturing  (fracking) projects in legislation passed last week in the European Parliament has been strongly criticised by Independent MEP Marian Harkin. She said that she had voted against the proposal to omit the requirement and pointed out that it represented bad legislation especially as the Parliament had previously voted in favour of mandatory environmental assessment for fracking enterprises. “Unfortunately this determination of the Parliament did not survive subsequent input by the Council of Ministers”, the Independent MEP said.  Mandatory environmental assessment was necessary because there was not adequate legislation to cover the impact of fracking, she said. “This decision is particularly difficult to understand as the European Commission, two years ago, in its own analysis of the impact of fracking on the environment, said that there were undesirable gaps in current legislation. “A mandatory EIA would at least have plugged some of the gaps in environmental legislation, she said.  The question was not whether member states would permit fracking or not, it was that comprehensive legislation was necessary to ensure adequate environmental protection, she stressed. “The legislation voted on in the Parliament this week flunked the test of whether or not the EU would have adequate legislation in place and is a poor outcome for those concerned with the protection of the environment”, Marian Harkin MEP concluded. [Emphasis added]

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