Northen Ireland bans fracking until environmental tests are carried out

State bans fracking until environmental tests are carried out by Paul Melia, January 12, 2013, Irish Independent
DRILLING for natural gas located in bedrock deep below the surface will not be allowed until a number of scientific studies are completed. The Government has ruled out the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, until environmental chiefs complete in-depth research into the possible effects on the environment, Natural Resources Minister Fergus O’Dowd said. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to commission and fund three separate pieces of research to determine if damage will be caused by companies hoping to find gas buried underneath the soil.

Enegi Oil is looking for gas in the Clare Basin, while Tamboran Resources will explore parts of north Leitrim. The third company, Lough Allen Natural Gas Company, is seeking the gas in the Lough Allen basin in the north west. … [T]here are concerns that the method can cause widespread pollution, particularly to water sources. Three companies have been given licences to explore for gas, Tamboran Resources, Lough Allen Natural Gas Company and Enegi Oil. However, none have started drilling. If they decide to go ahead, they will require an additional permission and have to prove it will not cause environmental damage.

“Until the EPA study has concluded and there has been time to consider its findings, the use of hydraulic fracturing in exploration drilling will not be authorised in Ireland,” he said. [Emphasis added]

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