Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Friends of the Earth warn over fracking in Northern Ireland

Anti-fracking protesters near a site in West Sussex
Anti-fracking protesters near a site in West Sussex
Many groups are opposed to the introduction of fracking in the UK
A fracking protester

Northern Ireland's environmental governance is not up to the challenge of regulating fracking, Friends of the Earth has warned.

The environmental pressure group says the province is already littered with illegal landfill sites and quarries with no planning permission – and if these risks cannot be regulated, it is difficult to see how Northern Ireland could manage a controversial and potentially dangerous activity like fracking.

In a new briefing paper on fracking in Northern Ireland, FoE said water contamination is a particular concern as the current petroleum exploration licence areas cover wetlands, river catchments such as the Bann, Loughs Neagh and Erne and coastal zones such as Belfast Lough, Larne Lough and the Causeway Coast.

Four petroleum licences have now been issued for Northern Ireland and a fifth licence zone is under consideration for an area covering south Antrim and north Down, including Belfast, Lisburn and Dundonald.

The report said contamination could have serious and far-reaching implications.

Further reading

Letter: Flooding raises threat levels around fracking

Hynde daughter on frack demo charge

Fresh row as shale roadmap revealed

Council seeks a ban on fracking

 
Stormont row on the cards over fracking in Northern Ireland

Caroline Lucas: Why I risked arrest to protest against fracking


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Fracking 'could hit Fermanagh's fish stocks'

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Fracking criticised over pollution and health risks

Poisoning link threatens future of fracking

Gas fracking is put on hold by Northern Ireland Assembly

Gas fracking company: We caused 50 tremors in England – but we're not going to stop

'Fracking' blamed for UK quakes 

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