EU open consultation process on shale gas and fracking

The recent launch of a public consultation on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing by the European Commission asks Irish citizens to make “full, detailed and targeted submissions”, in respect of the matter.

The recent launch of a public consultation on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing by the European Commission asks Irish citizens to make “full, detailed and targeted submissions”, in respect of the matter.

Local MEP, Marian Harkin (Ind), said that the move by the Commission was “the right thing to do” and pointed to the fact that greater powers of enforcement were required at national and European level for “all shale gas activities, including hydraulic fracturing”.

“This consultation is likely to identify significant gaps in EU legislation - such as the need for a Mining Directive, the necessity to expand the remit of the Environmental Impact Directive and gaps in the Water Framework Directive,” she added. “It is strictly up to each member state to legislate for fracking and this Europe-wide consultation affords Irish citizens a chance to input into highly influential EU guidelines, expected to be published in 2014.”

She went on to say that the consultation provided local people with a real opportunity to “have their say” on the matter. “Now is the chance to have your say; to bring to the attention of policy makers your concerns with regard to fracking; to highlight the various studies and assessments which back up your arguments: in essence, to have some input as a citizen into the drafting of European guidelines on fracking,” the Independent MEP concluded.