Home page

Two licences cover large areas of the north west and south west of Ireland – namely Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal. Fermanagh is also included in the project however that,of course, is licensed under a different juristiction.

A third licence covers an area including Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork.

The companies involved in the north west are Lough Allen Natural Gas Co and Tamboran. In the south west the company involved is Energi Oil.

Click here to sign the online petition – Ban Hydraulic Fracturing for natural gas in Ireland

Click here to sign the online petition – To ban Fracking in Northern Ireland

Click here to sign the online petition – To ban exploration and exploitation of shale gas/oil in the EU


Recent News

Excerpt from minutes of Leitrim Co Co meeting, Feb 2012

This is an excerpt from the minutes of a Leitrim Co Co meeting held in Feb 2012. It is worth while reading through this to gauge where the various councillors stand, it’s obvious that the majority of the Councillors feel strongly that the Co Dev Plan should be amended to exclude hydraulic fracturing, despite the advise from the county manager – who is strongly taking the govt line as county managers tend to do.

After all, the county manager is a paid civil servant who job is really to forward the interests of whichever govt is in power, not to the take the interests of the people living in the county into consideration. She is paid through our taxes but doesn’t really work for us, (private rant over).

The excerpt is from page 9 through to page 16 and is relevant to the discussion by the Co Co members about the possibility of changing the County Development Plan:

Part I – Notices of Motion.
12/56 6/2/2012 Amendment to County Development Plan re Hydraulic Fracturing
The Cathaoirleach, Councillor John McTernan outlined that Motion No’s 9 and 15 related to the same issue and suggested that they be considered together. This was agreed by the Members.

Ms. Jackie Maguire, County Manager outlined that a copy of the response to the motions in
relation to the County Development Plan had been circulated for the information of all the Members.

To consider the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Sean McSharry;
“I call on Leitrim County Council to follow the example of Clare and Sligo County Councils to amend the County Development Plan and ban the use of hydraulic fracking.”

To consider the following Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Sean McDermott;
“At the February Council meeting, I will ask Leitrim County Council to proceed to amend or vary the current Leitrim County Development Plan so that all fracking/shale gas extraction related activity be halted pending the introduction of a regulatory National and European oversight that does not contravene existing European Directives. This is in the interests of continuing the positive development of agriculture and tourism in County Leitrim.”

Report by Director of Service, Planning, Community and Economic Development
“The preparation and variation of a County Development Plan is governed by the provisions of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2010. As a consequence a planning authority has responsibility to ensure that the content of Development Plans is consistent with National Plans, Policies and Strategies as well as Regional Objectives including documents such as the
National Spatial Strategy and Regional Planning Guidelines.
Equally at National level government actions must operate within national policy such as
Sustainable Development – A Strategy for Ireland 2007 and must also ensure consistency with EU Directives such as the SEA Directive 2001.

The content required for a County Development Plan is set out in the Planning and
Development Act 2000 as amended which includes the need for strategic statements and
development objectives including objectives for matters such as environment protection,
sustainable development, protection of waters, landscape character protection etc . In addition procedures for the variation of the Development Plan is set out in statute which includes notices detailing proposed amendments to issue to the Minister, the Bord, adjoining planning authorities and other prescribed bodies along with public notice. A report on submissions must be prepared by the Manager and considered by the Members in dealing with the variation of the plan with an enhanced role for the Minister (since 2010) throughout the process. In concluding the consideration of a variation the Members are restricted to matters relating to the proper planning and development of the area and the relevant policies and objectives of the Government.

In addition to the limitation within which the Council would be operating when processing a
variation to the Development Plan the attempted introduction of a ban or a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing as an extractive technique for the recovery of shale gas would be fraught with technical and legal difficulties. Judicial precedent exists in the case where Mayo County Council adopted a policy into its development plan to ban mining for gold in the vicinity of Croak Patrick. In the Judgement of Blayney J in the case of Glencar Explorations plc V Mayo County Council [1993] 2 IR 237, it was held that a local authority could not be said to have regard to the policy of the Government in respect of mining when it adopted as part of the development plan a policy which was totally opposed to government policy.

Relevant government policy was at the time to the effect that mineral resources should be
explored for and should be exploited where it could be done in an environmentally acceptable manner. Blayney J stated that without attempting to define precisely the meaning of the phrase, “ having regard to” he was satisfied that a local authority could not be said to have had regard to the policy of government in respect of mining when it adopted as part of the development plan a policy which was totally opposed to that policy. It should be noted that the term “ have regard to” has been now replaced with “be consistent with” which binds the Council even more tightly to be in conformity with Government policy on the matter.

The Government policy in relation to “mineral resources” has not changed since that time, as far as the council is aware, and shale gas would fall within the category of mineral Resources.
Further to the matter of conformity to National Policy the inclusion of any proposed ban or
moratorium would have to be introduced into the plan by way of a “development objective”. The meaning of the term “Development Objective” was also looked at in this case. Again Blayney J held that the inclusion of such a provision [the banning of a development activity], was illegal as it was Ultra Vires. He found that the local authority was only entitled to include in the plan development objectives within the meaning of the legislation: the development objectives must be objectives which have as their aim the ‘carrying out of works on in or under land’ which meant that they must be positive in nature. The judge indicted in his judgement that it was not necessary for him to decide whether or not a local authority is entitled to include matters of “policy’ in its plan: the term “policy” and “objectives” are mutually exclusive.

However, Leitrim County Council through the preparation and the recent variation of the current County Development Plan has in place a robust plan with a clear vision for the county which formulates both the strategic and sustainable development of the county through a long list of policy statements and objectives.

The plan clearly stipulates key national policy documents that have determined the overarching policy framework for the future development of the county with well set out unambiguous policy objectives dealing in an effective way with competing demands of employment, tourism, extractive industries, amenity, utility services with a detailed section dealing with policy and objectives centring on the Protection of the Natural Environment of the County. The protection of the environment is onerous given the level of designation etc that arises in regard to SEAs, Habitat Directive, NHAs, AONB, AHVA, Water Framework Directive and Ecological and Geological interests.

While the Development Plan contains particular references to the Extractive Industry in relation to not adversely impacting on the environment any such development would firstly be the subject of a strenuous Environmental Impact Assessment and, when being assessed by the relevant regulatory bodies, will not only be bound by EU Directives and National Policy but also will have to have regard to the many provisions of the existing Leitrim County Development Plan which taken in its entirety comprises of an array of safeguards, checks and balances in relation to such development. It is expected that the primary regulatory bodies which will be charged with the responsibility of assessment will be the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources in relation to the licensing of the extractive processes, the Bord through the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 provisions and the EPA in regard to the Integration Pollution Prevention Control Licence process.”

Councillor Sean McSharry outlined that the Council had taken presentations in relation to both sides of the fracking issue. He stated that Tamboran had indicated that no chemicals would be used but that this is known to be untrue. He criticised the approach taken by the company in relation to the project. He outlined that fracking is banned in various locations and that an earthquake in the UK has been proven to have arisen as a direct result of fracking, He stated that the health implications of fracking are proven and the potential contamination of the food chain cannot be risked. He stated that the safety of ground water is a primary concern of the Minister and fracking cannot be permitted. He also queried why the EPA research contract in relation to fracking had been awarded to a Scottish University. He stated that the County Development Plan must be amended to ban the use of hydraulic fracking.

Councillor Sean McDermott outlined that the current County Development Plan was prepared in a different context when the issue of fracking could not have been foreseen. He stated that the implications for North Leitrim and the wider North West are quite serious. He stated that the people of Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher are very fearful and that the issue must be dealt with as soon as possible as the problem will not go away. He outlined that a potential tourism related project for the Glenfarne area has been put on hold by the proposers due to concerns in relation to the gas project. He outlined that €40m has been put aside in the recent Budget to clean up a Cork Steel manufacturing site where the company had simply walked away. He stated that it is the taxpayer that has to pick up the bill for the aftermath of such projects. He stated that the County Development Plan must be amended or varied so that all fracking/shale gas extraction related activity be halted pending the introduction of a regulatory National and European oversight that does not contravene existing European Directives.

Councillor Gerry Dolan supported the motions. He stated that the IFA in Leitrim are united in
relation to what the Council are seeking today. He outlined that literature received from Deputy Luke Ming Flanagan TD highlighted 8 crucial points to be made. He stated that Monaghan and Cavan County Council’s are going for complete fracking bans at their respective Council meetings today. He outlined that a safe way of extracting the gas may be identified down the line and in the meantime it should stay in the ground.

Councillor Sinead Guckian stated that she has reservations in relation to the process proposed. She referred to the statement in the reply from the Director of Services, Planning, Community & Economic Development that the “attempted introduction of a ban or a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing as an extractive technique for the recovery of shale gas would be fraught with technical and legal difficulties” and queried the situation in relation to the action taken by Clare and Sligo County Councils and whether they had created a legal issue for themselves or were trying to do something which they simply cannot do.

Councillor Gerry Kilrane outlined that he supported the motions. He expressed concern
however in relation to people’s understanding of the County Development Plan. He outlined that people had called on him to support the motions indicating that this is something that would have ‘real effect’. He referred to the September 2010 decision by An Bord Pleanala in relation to a phone mast application which was granted permission by the Bord contrary to the Leitrim County Development Plan. He stated that the County Development Plan is aspirational and reflects a vision for the County but is not binding on An Bord Pleanala. He expressed concern that the perception is out there that the amendment of the County Development Plan is all that is required and that Clare and Sligo have already done this. He outlined that he supported the motions but stated that the correct information needs to go out to the public.

Councillor Martin Kenny supported the motions and stated that he took cognisance of the report prepared which indicates that such a proposal will be looked at through the Strategic
Infrastructure Act etc. He stated however that amending the County Development Plan is a
means of putting up a fight on behalf of the people of the County. He also stated that the
Council have a duty to try and change the Plan so that it is in line with other Counties around
us. He outlined that the strong view form other local authorities as expressed at the meeting in Enniskillen last week is one of opposition. He stated that the Members of Leitrim County Council need to make the changes and if those changes are blocked by the Minister then so be it.

Councillor Francis Gilmartin supported the motions.

Councillor Tony Ferguson also supported the motions and stated that Tamboran Resources had taken a very arrogant stand in their recent statement. He stated that the people of Leitrim and the Members will stand shoulder to shoulder in relation to this issue. He stated that he believed firmly that the points made in relation to changing the County Development Plan must be implemented. He stated that there also needs to be a call for a change in the Regional Planning Guidelines. He outlined a concern that the project is at a more advanced stage in County Fermanagh. He stated that the issue must be taken head-on and that the County Development Plan can and must be changed.

Councillor John Ward supported the motions. He stated that Tamboran have only given one
side of the story and stated that the project will affect the whole Shannon Basin.
Councillor Enda McGloin stated that he agreed with the motions in a sense but stated that there is a lot of misinformation being put out to the public. He stated that as public representatives Members can express their views. He outlined that he had had a call from one lady who was of the view that once a ban was included in the County Development Plan the project could progress no further. He stated that it needs to be clear that this simply is not the case. He stated that it is important to write directly to Minister Rabbitte expressing the views of Leitrim County Council. He stated however that Members must be clear to the people they represent that fundamentally we do not have a role. He stated that passing the motions does not mean that fracking cannot proceed.

Councillor Mary Bohan agreed that fracking could not have been foreseen as an issue when the current County Development Plan was being prepared. She stated that the Council has a right to review the County Development Plan in light of this huge change. She stated that the

approach by the company is worrying in that it would appear to be a case of ‘divide and
conquer’. She stated that this is a very divisive issue. She stated that everyone would like to see jobs and prosperity. She stated that arising from the joint meeting with Fermanagh, Sligo and Cavan County Council it was proposed that a meeting would be sought with Minister Rabbitte and Minister Foster to discuss the matter. She stated that Minister Rabbitte needs to hear what the people are saying, that there are grave concerns and that the issue is going to be very divisive in our community. She also stated that, regardless of Government policy, Members must represent the views of their communities. She also expressed concern in relation to how the EIA will be carried out and whether the expertise is available within the Department to deal with it.

Councillor Sean McGowan supported both motions and all that had been said. He stated that, while accepting that varying the County Development Plan is only aspirational, it is important to send out the message that fracking is not acceptable to the people of Leitrim.

Councillor John McCartin stated that the gas is not going anywhere and it is important nationally that time is taken to fully consider the issue. He stated that as a Council the Members have a duty to respond to the concerns of the electorate. He stated that a considered approach is required. He stated that this is an environmental issue on foot of environmental concerns. He stated that there is a huge responsibility on Ireland and the EPA to make sure they have taken the correct advice etc. He stated that we must put some trust in the Institutions of the State. He stated that we should send the message forward that this is not reactionary if there are environmentally safe ways to extract the gas.

Councillor Frank Dolan supported the motions and stated that he would have grave concerns and fears that the Minister and Department are not up to speed with what is involved. He said that it would be serious if a Licence were to be granted without much more detailed consideration.

Councillor Siobhan McGloin supported the Motions. She stated that the issue has raised fears
and concerns across all age groups. She also stated that the approach by the company in
relation to their recent press release was arrogant and left a bad taste.

Councillor Caillian Ellis also supported the motion and stated that the company are trying to split communities.

Councillor Paddy O’Rourke sought clarification on whether the project is at a further stage in
Fermanagh.

Councillor Enda Stenson also supported the motions and queried whether the expertise is
available in the country to deal with this issue. He stated that the Minister should speak to the local representatives in relation to the issue.

Ms. Jackie Maguire, County Manager reiterated that the detailed response in relation to the
position on the County Development Plan had been circulated to all Members. She outlined that she appreciated the concerns which Members have. She advised that no other County
Development Plan has been varied in relation to this issue to date. She advised that Fermanagh are by-and-large at a similar stage – that where regulation kicks in is slightly different between North and South but that both jurisdictions are largely moving in parallel and both Departments are in contact with each other.

In relation to the County Development Plan she stated that this must conform with National Policy and EU Directives. She outlined that when the Development Plan is prepared it goes through a very robust mechanism. She outlined that what is in the Plan must reference national plans and policies and all of the EU Environmental Directives etc. She advised that all of these are contained and allowed for in the Development Plan. She outlined that there had been a lot of discussion around EU Directives that are very restrictive even in relation to a one-off rural house.

She outlined that at the moment nothing can happen within the County unless the Company get to the next stage and to get there they must carry out a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). She stated that this is very onerous and detailed and must comply with very detailed regulation and be assessed by the Department. She advised that the EIA process will also include a public consultation phase. She outlined that the EPA has been tasked with researching the process of hydraulic fracturing. She detailed the lengthy process involved in relation to varying the County Development Plan which would require seeking specialist advice and would take up to eight months to complete. She advised that any such variation could be overturned by the Minister. She stated that the County Development Plan already takes into account all of the EU Directives and detailed environmental protection objectives and stated that all of these will have to be addressed by the Company before progressing further.

Mr. Joseph Gilhooly, Director of Services, Planning, Community and Economic Development gave a detailed overview of the response which had been prepared in the context of the Motions submitted.

Councillor John McTernan outlined that all Members are very concerned in relation to the
situation.

Councillor Mary Bohan proposed, in view of the procedures as outlined by the County Manager and Director of Services in relation to the variation of the County Development Plan, that a special meeting should be held to review the Plan in light of this issue and to give it the consideration which it warrants.

Councillor Sinead Guckian stated that clarity was required in relation to what had been done in Clare. The County Manager reiterated that no County Development Plan has been varied in relation to this issue. She reiterated the process involved in relation to varying the Development Plan and the requirement that it conforms with national policy. She also reiterated that the company must complete a detailed EIA which will determine whether it can progress to the next phase of the project. She stated that the Executive is just as concerned as the Members but that we must consider in a balanced way what Leitrim County Council can do. She stated that due process must happen in relation to this issue. She advised that if the Members wish to vary the Plan this will have to go through due process with huge difficulties involved and the requirement for external expertise. She also advised that it is An Bord Pleanala that will be dealing with any application in relation to this project and that if elements of it came before Leitrim County Council for decision any such decision will ultimately end up with An Bord Pleanala.

Councillor Tony Ferguson proposed, in view of the advice from the Executive and the
requirement to conform with national Policy, that the Council call on Ministers and Government to ensure that the practice of Hydraulic fracturing be excluded as a method of extracting Gas/Oil on the Island of Ireland as in the case of some European countries. He proposed that the Council proceed on this basis. This was supported by Councillor Sean McGowan.

Councillor Francis Gilmartin requested that clarification be obtained in relation to the situation with Sligo County Council and the proposed variation of their Plan. The County Manager advised that she had spoken with officials in Clare and the Manager had advised the Members that they could not proceed. She advised that she had not managed to speak with anyone in Sligo but that it was understood that there was no comment at all from the Executive in relation to the issue.

Councillor Kilrane noted the advice from the Manager and the Director of Services and
acknowledged that changes to the Development Plan in this regard would take a significant
period of time and ultimately are aspirational. He outlined that the Council has already called for a five year moratorium on fracking.

Councillor Martin Kenny stated that while the reality may be that the variation of the Plan is
aspirational it can mean a lot if the Counties affected are clearly saying that they don’t want
fracking. He outlined that he understood that there may be a cost involved but suggested that a joint approach and pooling of resources could be considered.

Councillor Enda McGloin outlined that the Oireachtas members in the Roscommon/Leitrim and Sligo/Leitrim constituencies were being given a presentation on Tuesday, 7
th February 2012 by Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd in relation to this issue. He suggested that the opportunity 15 should also be afforded to the Members of Leitrim County Council to discuss the situation. This was supported by Councillor Sean McGowan.

Councillor Mary Bohan reiterated her proposal that a special meeting be held to review the
County Development Plan in terms of the options available. This was supported by Councillor Sean McDermott.

Proposed by Councillor Tony Ferguson, seconded by Councillor Sean McGowan AND
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED;
“That Leitrim County Council calls on Ministers and Government to ensure that the practice of
Hydraulic fracturing be excluded as a method of extracting Gas/Oil on the Island of Ireland as in the case of some European countries.”

 

Bulgaria say hello!

Dear What The Frack team,

We are the Bulgarian anti-shale gas civil society organization Citizens’ Initiative against the exploration and extraction of shale gas through the method of hydraulic fracturing. As you might be aware, Bulgaria has fallen into the list of prospective shale-gas rich countries in Europe and has drawn a swarm of energy corporations, eager to secure permits to explore and produce shale gas through hydrofracking.

So far the Bulgarian people have been remarkably active, well organized and vocal in making it obvious to the politicians and the energy companies that we would not tolerate the environmental and health risks that hydrofracking involves. After months of dogged
determination, organizing numerous protests, a petition and having our representatives participate in debates in the media and in (generally hostile) parliamentary committees, the moratorium on using hydraulic fracturing was finally secured by the Bulgarian National Parliament.

Unfortunately, this moratorium is hanging by a thread. Since it was passed, the energy lobbies have intensified their actions through besetting television and radio channels, as well as the press, convincing people in the economic benefits shale gas exploration and
production may have for Bulgaria and slandering anti-shale gas activists.

The oil and gas lobbies have upped their act not only in Bulgaria. At the moment they are fighting a planned US act which would force them to reveal the amount of money they pay local governments for local drilling permissions around the world. Also, they are pushing for   institutionalisationof unconventional gas “good practices” which would legitimise the use of hydrofracking and the risks related to it.

Taking into consideration the increased pressure from energy corporations and the common challenges that all anti-shale gas organisations around the globe share, we decided to call for contact, cooperation and synchronised action as many relevant organisations in
the world as possible, in order to achieve a higher impact in our local actions.

There is a planned meeting on unconventional gas in Poland on 7 March, which will see together all the major gas “players”. This would be a great opportunity to raise international awareness of the problem by organising simultaneous protests in all countries, regions and
communities with anti-fracking groups on the same day, which could be the weekend following the meeting.

We have just under a month to organise this global demonstration which is an adequate amount of time. The benefits of such synchronised action will be not only that we would raise the curtain over the plans and methods of the energy lobbies, but we would also show that the grass-roots opposition to hydro-fracking is not only hard to ignore, but hard to fight with, too.

We sincerely hope that you would agree with us on the need to cooperate and coordinate our actions and organise a global event against hydrofracking. If you do, please send us a message to confirm your wish for further communication with us and with a future “global” group. We would appreciate it if you respond by 22 March. Any other ideas you might have for future common action and any contacts with civil organization or community groups that fight hydrofracturing are also very welcome.

You can contact us at frackingfreebulgaria@googlegroups.com and
frackingfreebulgaria@gmail.com

Best regards,
On behalf of the Citizens’ Initiative against the exploration and extraction of shale gas through the method of hydraulic fracturing

Anna Pelova
Iskra Nikolova
Borislav Sabev
Borislav Sandov
Galin Mihalev
Stefan Grigorov
Dona Pickard:

Anyone wishing to contact this group may do so by using the contact page on this website and we will put you in touch with them.

CELT against fracking!

The following is the content of an email from the group CELT, based in Co Clare, it may contain information which would be of value who are new to the fracking debate.

I am writing to provide you with information (should you not already have it) about fracking – hydraulic fracturing of underground shale beds to release trapped gas which is now proposed in parts of Ireland and to highlight growing concerns about the risks posed to public health, safety and environment.

Fracking has been banned in other countries (France, Canada, South Africa and New York State) due to serious concerns regarding risks to health and safety of local population and environment. The Northern Ireland Assembly have voted (49 – 30) in favour of a moratorium on fracking and County Councils of Leitrim, Clare and Roscommon have voted to call for a ban – Clare County Council having also agreed to amend the County  development Plan to declare fracking inappropriate in the county in the absence of adequate and enforceable regulation due to the risks involved (also, see attached geological notes on Clare Basin).

The risks include the danger of earthquake (see A below), pollution of water table (see B below), air pollution (from evaporation of contaminated water), gas leakage (including harmful radon – of particular concern in Ireland) and damage to habitats and landscape.
The infrastructure involves numerous well-heads (with approx 2km spacing), each having a concrete platform the size of a football pitch plus large holding or evaporation tanks and a collection lake for contaminated water (millions of gallons used – brought in by a fleet
of big haulage tankers).

It is our opinion that the likely damage to people, land and animals would result in far greater cost and loss of jobs in the long-term than the operations would provide over their relatively short life (each well would be expected to run dry within 5 to 7 years on
average, though the whole process over a large area could conceivably continue for 20 years or more).

A) This link is the geomechanical report on the Bowland Shale seismic events in England from early this summer. Good overview of the nature of the seismic activity and the role the
testing had in triggering it.
http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Final_Report_Bowland_Seismicity_02-11-11.pdf

B) This link is a USA EPA plan to study effects of fracking on drinking water. Of particular interest are section 3.3 (an explanation of the fracking process) and tables T.2 and T.3 listing chemicals involved.
http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/upload/FINAL-STUDY-PLAN-HF_Web_2.pdf

Further information can be found as follows : -
http://what-the-frack.org/fracking-map-of-ireland/
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/The-Problem/fracking/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14432401
http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.net/fracking/fracking.html
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3040062/Fracking%20Overview.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM
http://www.antaisce.ie/transportenergy/Fracking.aspx
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the unconventional gas boom is happening too fast, too recklessly and with insufficient concern for the potential cumulative impacts on our most critical resources – clean air, safe drinking water and a stable climate.
A number of reports have been released on fracking chemicals and associated health risks, most notably by Dr. Theo Colborn of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX). By May 2010 Dr. Colborn had identified 944 chemicals associated with drilling and hydraulic
fracturing.”
http://www.desmogblog.com/fracking-the-future/danger.html

See the film ‘Gasland’ about fracking operations in USA -
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Ftopdocumentaryfilms.com%2Fgasland%2F&h=sAQHM7ZM1AQGqbVsagwyWJwIlSjzuRMvJgxpGkKjtr8VSaQ

CELT supporters believe that the risks are too great and we are calling for fracking to be banned in Ireland – and at the very least for a moratorium whilst the risks are carefully analysed and weighed against potential benefits which must be compared with what can happen without fracking. Agriculture and tourism are seen as major potential growth areas and they depend on maintaining a safe and healthy environment with clean air and water and an unspoilt landscape. This would all come under serious threat if fracking operations were to be allowed to proceed and it is arguable that the short term benefits obtained from fracking would be far outweighed by the potential long term benefits from agriculture and tourism. We have particular concerns regarding possible seismic activity in proximity to caves and cliffs from the public safety and tourism viewpoint and the possible release of radon gas and other radioactive and / or carcinogenic substances in addition to the obvious concerns regarding water pollution, methane leakage, habitat destruction, etc.

Multi-national companies and their shareholders / bondholders are the main beneficiaries of fracking. Companies like Halliburton thrive on investors getting carried away with the hype about billions of cubic metres of gas worth billions of dollars. Those who are doing the
initial prospecting are only relatively small companies trying to make a fast buck – they will soon sell out to a big company such as Shell who are quite likely to sell the gas to Britain and the Continent. Any gas sold to Ireland would be at market price under current
agreements.

We understand that the  Government is under pressure to deliver measures towards energy security but it is our firm belief that the road to energy security and sustainable living lies in the development of renewable resources rather than fossil fuels, together with investment in agriculture and tourism.

We ask that you give this issue urgent attention before it is too late.

Regards,
Bob Wilson
Coordinator

CELT (Centre for Environmental Living & Training)
Main St
Scariff
Co.Clare
Ireland
(+353)61-640765
info@celtnet.org
www.celtnet.org

How can they get away with creating so much dirty water?

We asked permission of the author to publish this comment  as a post because it raises such good points -

I am appalled by this Fracking issue. In fact, it offends my sensibilities for many reasons. Firstly, in response to new aggressive water & anti pollution laws I started a new business that demonstrates how you can clean vehicles to showroom shine in 20 minutes without excessive use of water (conservation) & without one single chemical (preservation).

Irish legislation is cracking down on indiscriminate use of water by penalising businesses for toxic washing. To date it hasn’t been heavily policed, but EU Directive has put Ireland under pressure to start policing this policy.

This means that any business who toxic washes as a by product of their business is now in trouble. Any waste water run off has to be contained, removed & treated. Water rates will kick in to ensure that excessive use of water is curbed.

So someone explain to me please how a large company can come into ireland & suggest that they use billions of litres of water (from where), deliberately contaminate it with hard core chemicals, pump it into the ground & then pool it in the area?

Where is all that water to come from? Who will pay the water bill on this. If irish business is subject to water rates to avoid excessive & indiscrimminate use of water, then how on earth is a company involved in Fracking going to avoid rates. You are either a business (big or small) or not, subject to the same law of the land. If busiensses are penalised for contaminating water & are obliged to contain it & treat it until it is harmless (expensive), to prevent it from escaping into the earth & contaminating our already contaminated water table, how can a company propose to do this ‘for a living’ & not be subject to the same law?

It is going to be one of those cases again in this country where the goal posts are moved for people with money? If a company like that can pump billions & billions of gallons of water a day into the ground, contaminate it, then what would be the poiint of any other business trying to contain their toxic washing? Its a bit like throwing a bucket of water onto a towering inferno.

The industry I work in is under enormous pressure to change how we clean due to the massive toxic washing issue. Billions of litres of water & chemical have been washed into the water table & land indiscrimminately over decades. Its still happening. Except now, the laws are being inforced. And the water rates will have a huge impact on businesses who use alot of water to clean. So when we went into the industry, we researched & trained & tested until we developed a system that resolved all the challenges that faced us. And we wanted to introduce a system to all business who are faced with these challenges so that toxic washing can be a thing of the past without damaging your business.

The government won’t provide an alternative for business. They just tell you to stop doing it. Alot of business in this country don’t actually know this. That they are not supposed to toxic wash. Just because its not enforced does not mean that its legal. Many businesses in Dublin, particularly in the Vehicle washing sector have been shutdown overnight. The council have turned off their water. They were not containing the polluted water so they were prevented from trading. This is becoming more widespread now that EU are demanding the enforcement of these laws.

It is the responsibiltiy of each business to stay abrest of these laws so huffing & puffing when the environmental police turn up on your doorstep to stop the toxic washing won’t do you any good. Now if every business in Ireland, big or small is subject to this legislation, how on earth are these big ‘energy’ companies even allowed to ‘consider’ going into business in this way? Surely on that basis it is illegal! Does anyone know how this is a consideration?

If I whipped out a pressure wash in Co. Leitrim and started toxic washing with a load of hard chemical TFR (Traffic Film Remover, horrible stuff), then I would probably be shut down in a very short space of time. In comparison, that washing wouldn’t even be a drop in the ocean compared to what Fracking would involve. Its an environmental ATROCITY. And this blackmail that they go on with regarding providing necessary employment in the area? What utter nonsense.

So people are supposed to decide between the devil & the deep blue sea? Do we stay on the dole or poision ourselves, our land, our children, our animal friends, our whole ecosystem? What kind of a choice is that? That is no choice. There is no honor in that work. A job at the expense of every other consideration in the communinity is no job at all. This is another demonstration of how PROFIT BEFORE PEOPLE rules.

The perpetrators of this type of scandalous practice won’t be living in lovely leitrim or whereever they want to Frack. They will be thousands of miles away from the devastation sailing around the mediterranean on their yacht. They don’t care about the people, providing jobs or the environment. They care about MONEY. And its about time people started taking responsibility for how their lives are dictated. Instead of constantly handing it over to incompetent & corrupt politicians who are just businessmen doing deals ‘in their own interests’.

People need to start realising that we are lost in the forest & depending on the government or big business to navigate us out of the forest in safety is ludicrious. They are like the bear who wants to eat us all for his dinner. Its not in his interest to have us navigate our way out. Its in his interest to have us lost, hungry, wandering aimlessly, preoccupied with survival so we can’t see the wood from the trees & navigate our own way out.

Wake up everyone. This is an ATROCITY on the land & subseqently on ourselves. No one escapes if this is allow to take place. We will all suffer.

Geraldine (GreenValet – Pioneers in the Solution to Pollution)

Jessica Ernst M Sc Biologist, Speaking in Ireland

A presentation by Jessica Ernst M Sc Biologist and environmental consultant to the oil and as
industry, with more than 30 years experience Jessica is a long time critic of hydraulic fracturing.

Jessica has first-hand experience of living in communities where Fracking takes place, her insight into industry practices promises to be both informative and timely.

Jessica is on a week long visit to Ireland for the first time and will speak in Leinster house on Monday to TD’s and Senators.

She will be in Belcoo, Community Centre, Fermanagh, Feb 21st 8pm

North West Network Against Fracking will be hosting Dr. John O’Connor, a physician from Alberta, Canada, and Jessica Ernst, MSc, on Wednesday, 22nd February, at the Clarion Hotel Sligo at 8pm.

The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Feb 23rd, 8pm
Glenfarne, Co.Leitrim, (venue/time TBC) Feb 24th
Dublin – city centre (venue/time TBC)

A question and Answers session will follow the presentations.
All are welcome, and entrance is free.
Please spread the word to friends and neighbours about these important upcoming events, thank you.

The event in Carrick on shannon will be chaired by Liam Scollan

Hosted Using Renewable Energy by IriShsolar.net