Independent MEP Marian Harkin has called for a “full, comprehensive public consultation” in an effort to address the fracking issue in Ireland.
Speaking on the matter, the MEP for the north/west, said that a number of “fellow MEPs” had recently urged all EU Member States to “ban” fracking. “All this, despite the fact that EU and national rules remain insufficiently developed to ensure complete environmental and human safety, and this is most certainly the current situation in Ireland,” Ms Harkin,MEP added.
Speaking from Brussels, the local MEP offered a tentative welcome to Minister Pat Rabbitte’s decision to maintain a freeze on all hydraulic fracturing in Ireland, pending a comprehensive report which will be commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) early next year.
“This report’s legitimacy as a blueprint for any future fracking in Ireland will only be guaranteed if a full public consultation is undertaken with environmental groups, local and community activists - including farmers, tourism interests and residents - and all other relevant stakeholders,” Ms Harkin, MEP fumed. “Full community involvement - even in this preparatory phase - is the only way to ensure a balanced, sensible approach to this important study.”