A COALITION of 27 environmental groups has called on the Government to “put a stop to all fracking activity” in Ireland because its “known impacts are so serious”.
In a new policy document on hydraulic fracturing of shale gas – commonly known as “fracking” – the Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership referred to the “proposed industrialisation and degradation of our environment across at least nine counties”.
Michael Ewing, co-ordinator of the Environmental Pillar, said the environment and long-term development of rural Ireland was “at risk from the secrecy surrounding the polluting processes involved – the damage done to communities, water supplies and wildlife”.
Instead, the Government and EU should “focus their attention on increasing energy efficiency and accelerating the move to renewable energy rather than allowing the development of high-risk, inefficient and polluting gas extraction processes that just add to the problem of climate change”.
In its policy document the pillar says there was no scientific agreement that unconventional gas extraction would have significantly lower total greenhouse gas emissions compared to other conventional fossil fuels, and its development “will be at the expense of cheaper and safer policies”.
It warns that fracking “could cause the contamination of surface and ground water (including drinking water) with toxic chemicals used in fracking fluids and increasing the concentration in such water of methane and hazardous and radioactive materials that naturally occur in shale and coal”.