Report finds contamination of water a 'significant potential' if fracking proceeds

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Report finds contamination of water a 'significant potential' if fracking proceeds

A new report commissioned by Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) Ireland and published this week says hydraulic fracturing has the 'significant potential' to contaminate Irish waters.


Based on the comprehensive and independent research, SWAN is calling for the prohibition of fracking due to the “many documented impacts on water” and the “absence of a coherent effective governance and regulatory framework for the industry in Ireland.”


The report finds contamination of surface water and groundwater has “significant potential to occur via hydraulic fracturing and associated shale gas production activities.”


This research says water abstraction needed for the development of shale gas drilling on local scales could adversely affect river and floodplain habitats and their wildlife.


The report says a “strong and effective system would be required, which does not exist” presently for fracking.
It says the four way split between petroleum licensing, pollution, regulations by CER and the planning process “strongly militates against any one regulator being capable of assuming adequate oversight of the total environmental impacts of a proposed project on the environment.”
It also points to gaps in existing legal controls.


Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) is an umbrella network of 26 of Ireland's leading environmental NGOs, national and regional, working to protect and enhance Ireland’s water resources and aquatic environment through participation in water policy development and implementation.