Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, welcomed acceptance by the Environment Committee of an amendment requiring inclusion of the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels under the Environmental Impact Assessments Directive.
Martina Anderson commented:
“I am delighted that the Environment Committee, on which I sit, accepted the amendment requiring inclusion of the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
“Currently, only projects which produce at least 500,000 cubic metres (m3) of gas daily have to undergo Environmental Impact Assessments. Although unconventional gas project emissions such as Fracking may produce less gas they nevertheless can have as serious an environmental impact as conventional gas extraction. This amendment when accepted by a vote in the full plenary of all the MEPs will ensure that the impact on the environment and public health is considered and fully compliant with EIA before any extraction project is approved. Although having to pass this final stage, the fact that it has been accepted by the ENVI committee would suggest that it will be adopted.
“It is crucial that we continue to close the regulatory gaps which exist for Fracking operations within the EU.”