Junior Minister Fergus O’Dowd said in the Dáil last week that the research into hydraulic fracturing is expected to be approx €1m.
SF Leitrim TD, Michael Colreavy asked about the cost of the research and the funding arrangement for the EPA study.
Deputy O’Dowd said, “While the EPA is managing the study into the potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing under the STRIVE programme, the research programme is being co-funded by the EPA, my own Department and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. While the call for tenders for the appointment of the appropriate expertise to carry out the research programme has been completed, the appraisal of the tenders received is still underway and appropriate experts have yet to be appointed. It is, therefore, difficult to be definitive at this juncture with regard to final costs.” He said ti should be noted that the study’s key objectives are to ascertain if Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction projects and operations can be carried out in Ireland while also protecting the environment and human health and what is best environmental practice in relation to Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction projects and operations.
“It is expected that the total cost of the research programme will be in the order of €1m,” he concluded.