Local fishermen taking part in the 'Back the Bill campaign on Lough MacNean, Blacklion
Leitrim people are being encouraged to make a personal submission on fracking to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, before the February 2 deadline as this Committee is now currently inviting public submissions on the issue.
Local Fine Gael Deputy Tony McLoughlin said, "Since I was first elected in 2011, it has been made very clear to me from an early stage that local people do not want this process to be permitted to occur in their localities due to fears about the environment, farming and potential effects to their public health and drinking water. This is why, in 2016, with a minority Government in place, I saw an opportunity to take action on this issue by tabling a Private Members Bill which aims to ban Fracking in this country.
"Much to my delight my Bill was selected for debate in the Dáil in October 2016 and it was then supported unanimously by both the Government and every other political party in Dáil Éireann. It really was an amazing win for Irish politics and the environment."
The Bill was referred to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment by the Dáil in October 2016. The Committee has now decided to undertake a detailed scrutiny, including a public consultation, of the provisions of my bill, together with the EPA led Joint Research Programme on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on the Environment and Human Health.
The Committee is inviting submissions to be received not later than Thursday, 2nd February 2017 at the email address: Fracking@oireachtas.ie
McLoughlin said, “The Committee will consider any suitable written submissions received and may decide to invite a number of contributors to public hearings should it be considered necessary.
“I have been extremely concerned for a very long time about the damage and harm that fracking could cause in Ireland, and it is my firm hope that my Bill will prevent this. I would encourage everyone with a view on this important topic to contact the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Action and Environment.”