Fracking: Minister won’t make any decision until after EPA report

The Minister for Communications and Natural Resources says he will await the publication of a report from the Environmental Protection Agency before considering any new legislation on fracking.

Minister Denis Naughten says the report from the first phase of the study on fracking in Ireland should be complete by the end of the year.


Anti-fracking campaigners have called a move in the north this week to remove permitted development rights for all oil and gas exploration without a planning application as ‘too weak’.

100 demonstrators including those from the north west gathered at Stormont on Monday to coincide with a debate on the issue of fracking and drilling that is taking place at Woodburn Forest in Antrim.

They’re calling for legislation to be put in place both north and south of the border to ban all exploration of gas and oil from rock.

The campaign have welcomed a suspension of a study by the EPA on the implications of the process.

A report on that suspended study is due by the end of the year according to the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources.

In a statement to Ocean FM News this week, the department said the new Minister Roscommon TD Denis Naughten ‘is of the view that it would be appropriate to await the outcome of the synthesis report and take time to reflect on its findings’ before making any further decisions on how the issue will be dealt with south of the border.

The statement indicates that any planned legislation on the matter could still be some way off.