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.
COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? email@example.com