Report finds fracking can go ahead but subject to strict guidelines

A new report on the impact of fracking in Ireland has concluded that the controversial practice CAN go ahead on the island of Ireland.

However, best practice guidelines should firstly be carefully drawn up by governments north and south of the border to address concerns around pollution.

Today’s long-awaited report from the EPA has come about having first been commissioned by the-then Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabitte in 2011.

The research was undertaken by a consortium of independent organisations comprising CDM Smith Ireland (Ltd), the British Geological Survey, University College Dublin, Ulster University, AMEC Foster Wheeler and Philip Lee Solicitors.

The study focused on finding out if Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (or ‘fracking’) operations can be carried out in the island of Ireland whilst also protecting the environment and human health and what the ‘best environmental practice’ is in relation to those projects.

It finds that the legislation and regulation that relates to them are well established but perhaps need to be better adapted for the process of fracking.

Speaking to Ocean FM News this evening, Alan Hooper of CDM Smith, one of the companies involved in the research said there are three areas of concern.

These include groundwater, the fracking process and gas emissions themselves:

The report concludes that prior to any authorisation for hydraulic fracturing, these issues should be resolved.