EPA launches consultation on terms of research into fracking


The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a public consultation on the draft terms of reference for research into hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

In May 2012 an EPA-commissioned preliminary study found fracking – a drilling method used to extract shale gas – “does not pose a significant environmental risk”, but there are potential risks to ground water from “poor well design or construction”.

A steering committee comprising Irish and Northern Irish environmental and energy agencies has since developed proposed terms of reference for a comprehensive programme of research into the process.

Interested parties have until March 8th to submit written comments on the draft terms of reference.

According to the EPA, “the public consultation will ensure that this programme of research delivers a thorough and robust examination of the issues”.