Upcoming Events

National | Environment

no events match your query!

New Events


no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds



offsite link The Wholesome Photo of the Month Thu May 09, 2024 11:01 | Anti-Empire

offsite link In 3 War Years Russia Will Have Spent $3... Thu May 09, 2024 02:17 | Anti-Empire

offsite link UK Sending Missiles to Be Fired Into Rus... Tue May 07, 2024 14:17 | Marko Marjanović

offsite link US Gives Weapons to Taiwan for Free, The... Fri May 03, 2024 03:55 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Russia Has 17 Percent More Defense Jobs ... Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:56 | Marko Marjanović

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Alternative Copy of thesaker.is site is available Thu May 25, 2023 14:38 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
Alternative site: https://thesaker.si/saker-a... Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

offsite link The Saker blog is now frozen Tue Feb 28, 2023 23:55 | The Saker
Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

offsite link What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership? Tue Feb 28, 2023 16:26 | The Saker
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2023/02/27 ? Open Thread Mon Feb 27, 2023 19:00 | cafe-uploader
2023/02/27 19:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The stage is set for Hybrid World War III Mon Feb 27, 2023 15:50 | The Saker
Pepe Escobar for the Saker blog A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you?re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Seven Articles in Top Journals Showing Covid Vaccine Harms That Got Past the Censors Fri May 24, 2024 17:00 | Dr Raphael Lataster
The COVID-19 vaccine pile-on in leading scientific journals continues apace. Dr Raphael Lataster summarises seven articles showing Covid vaccine harms that got past the censors.
The post Seven Articles in Top Journals Showing Covid Vaccine Harms That Got Past the Censors appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link John Redwood to Step Down as Record Number of Tory MPs Set to Quit Fri May 24, 2024 15:00 | Will Jones
Sir John Redwood ? the veteran MP who headed Margaret Thatcher's policy unit in the 1980s and has opposed Net Zero and lockdown policies ? has announced that he will stand down at the General Election.
The post John Redwood to Step Down as Record Number of Tory MPs Set to Quit appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The ?Experts? Are Still Pushing Mandates Fri May 24, 2024 13:00 | Ian Miller
We?re in the middle of 2024, and the 'experts' still won?t give up their ridiculous defence of Covid mandates. But it's all just proof-by-assumption based on guesswork and biased data, says Ian Miller.
The post The ‘Experts’ Are Still Pushing Mandates appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Electric Car Revolution is Coming Crashing Down Fri May 24, 2024 11:00 | Will Jones
The state-subsidised electric car market has crashed in China and the country is trying to dump the vehicles on the West, but the same is happening here as well. For manufacturers it's going to be a blood bath.
The post The Electric Car Revolution is Coming Crashing Down appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link What is Mass Migration For, Why Does it Keep Happening, and Why Will Nobody Stop It? Fri May 24, 2024 09:00 | Eugyppius
What is mass migration for, why does it keep happening and why will nobody stop It? Eugyppius looks at the main theories behind Europe's seemingly unclosable borders and the elites' odd attachment to the disastrous policy.
The post What is Mass Migration For, Why Does it Keep Happening, and Why Will Nobody Stop It? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link ?Democracy?, European Union version, by Thierry Meyssan Tue May 21, 2024 07:19 | en

offsite link The Blood-Red Sunset of the West, by Manlio Dinucci Mon May 20, 2024 10:05 | en

offsite link Voltaire, International Newsletter N°87 Sat May 18, 2024 05:29 | en

offsite link Europa Viva 2024 kowtows to the Straussians Sat May 18, 2024 03:01 | en

offsite link The world economic order is falling apart, by Alfredo Jalife-Rahme Fri May 17, 2024 08:13 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Statement from some of No Fracking Ireland on EPA 'consultation' process which ended today.

category national | environment | opinion/analysis author Friday March 08, 2013 18:29author by one of NFI Report this post to the editors

Statement from participants in the No Fracking Ireland Network on the EPA ‘public consultation’ process with regard to ‘Proposed terms of reference for EPA/DCENR/NIEA Research Programme on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE)’

We have studied the press release issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in January of this year calling for submissions to a ‘public consultation’ on the 'Proposed Terms of Reference for EPA/DCENR/NIEA Research Programme on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction'. We have also studied with interest the proposed terms of reference for the EPA/DCENR/NIEA Research Programme.

The second line of the press release accompanying the terms of reference document acknowledges the 'need for detailed scientific information' in this area generally. The publication of peer reviewed scientific information on the impacts of fracking lags way behind the vast amount of anecdotal evidence on this subject coming from communities worldwide, in particular from the United States. This body of anecdotal evidence, already supported by some extant peer reviewed scientific studies, indicates that Fracking is a fundamentally flawed process. It threatens the health and sustainability of communities. We take the evidence being made available by such communities extremely seriously. Hence we have been campaigning for a ban on the process of Hydraulic Fracturing on the Island of Ireland for nearly two years.

Why is the Irish Government attempting to fast-track the production of research data in this area, despite - to quote the proposed terms of reference document - the 'small number of published, peer reviewed, scientific studies in the area'? Our view is that the impetus for rapid action in this area is coming from an awareness, on the part of the present government, that the global body of scientific peer-reviewed evidence is currently catching up with the avalanche of negative anecdotal evidence from communities with regard to fracking.

A cynical, anti-democratic exercise

We believe the present FG / Labour government fully intends to facilitate the development of a fracking industry in Ireland. It intends to do so in the face of strong and ever growing community opposition. We also believe that the public consultation 'process' on the EPA etc. draft terms of reference for research in this area was a cynical exercise intended to put a veneer of community consultation on a fundamentally anti-democratic process. This process is intended to open up large areas of the island of Ireland to exploitation by an extremely controversial industry.

Ignoring community concerns

The structure of the research proposed by the EPA etc does not propose to address fundamental community concerns in the area of health in any sustained way.

Not if, but how

Another basic flaw in the proposed framework for research is the stated intent of its serving to 'assist regulators (North and South) in fulfilling their statutory roles regarding this activity'. This is a clear prima facie statement that the intent of this program of research is the development of a framework to regulate this industry. It is not a comprehensive evaluation of whether it is advisable to allow the development of a fracking industry on the island of Ireland.

Ignoring calls from public to ban fracking

A great deal of evidence (petitions with thousands of signatures calling for the process to be banned, local government bans, large public meetings, protests) exists that the communities in areas where exploratory licenses may shortly be issued do not want a 'process' to proceed in this area, and do not want regulation to be developed to facilitate this industry. Rather, such communities want a clear ban imposed on the process of hydraulic fracturing. There have been no consultations whatsoever directly between the government and communities in the firing line with regard to fracking to date. This is despite the significant number of local councils which have voted to ban the practice.

Creating facts on the ground for fracking to take place

With particular regard to the draft terms of reference document - it is clear that the intended outputs of 'Project A1' and 'Project A2' are the putting in place of 'baseline monitoring systems' to monitor water quality and seismic activity. The implementation of such systems only makes practical sense if it is inevitable that such systems will be used. In other words, the development of such systems has no discernible purpose unless fracking is to go ahead in the areas where these monitoring systems are to be developed and deployed.

This is nothing less than the commissioning and pre-emptive development of infrastructure intended to regulate and monitor a fracking industry. The state agency, in effect, is operating as part of the fracking industry. It represents a warlike intention to create 'facts on the ground' in the absence of meaningful community consent. No such consent exists for the development of an infrastructure for the regulation of a widespread fracking industry in the communities concerned.

Despite the preamble to the outlines of 'Section A' and 'Section A1’ of the proposed research mentioning 'water contamination', 'risks to surface water and ecosystems' and 'the importance of geology and hydrogeology in environmental protection and considerations of human health', none of the indicated intended outputs of this section of the proposed research have anything whatsoever to do with these (as the document refers to them) 'contentious issues'. This proposed outline does not map a path for researchers to review and identify the risks of fracking with regard to water quality and potential impacts on human health. Instead, it attends to the development of strategies for monitoring an extant industry in an effective way. In other words, the research outline presupposes the inevitability of fracking on an industrial scale - and sketches out research areas that prioritise the need to develop effective strategies to monitor such an industry. In the words of the draft terms of reference document, what is sought is 'the conceptual model and technical specifications for monitoring'.

The draft specifications for 'Project B' do nothing to dispel the impression that this report is aimed at preparing the ground for the imposition of fracking on communities. There is much emphasis on identification of 'mitigation measures', 'current and emerging practices in the context of avoidance of the use of additives that have the potential to harm the environment', 'identifying best practice for monitoring', 'identification of best practice in self-regulation' and 'validity and range of existing and potential monitoring and mitigation techniques'. The language deployed in the document generally, and in this section particularly, betrays the fact that what is being asked for from those tasked with research is a framework for regulation and monitoring that can be adopted rapidly by the Irish State if (and more likely when) the present government decides to give the go-ahead for exploratory and commercial fracking.

The EPA: working towards a fracking industry in Ireland

Finally the outline for Project C,makes no bones about indicating that what the EPA and its partners want from this research is an identification of ‘all regulatory requirements and best operational practices associated with the establishment and operation of a “UGEE development” in an Irish context’. In other words, this proposed research is intended to establish best practice in terms of the development of a ‘fracking industry’. In terms of the detail of Project C, the draft indicates that potential researchers will be asked to identify ‘detailed information on the regulatory approaches of other countries’, ‘the best practice in relation to UGEE operation’ and best practice in terms of ‘public engagement’ with extant fracking industries.

Despite the patina of concern for the environment visible in this draft terms of reference document - it does not even attempt to outline a framework for research for a thorough evaluation of the environmental and health risks presented by exploratory or industrial fracking. In fact, such concerns are completely marginalised by the document and the framework for research it proposes. Instead, it clearly and consistently focuses on the development of a best practice framework for fracking and its regulation.

A manipulative and anti-democratic approach to public consultation

Asking for input from the public into such a process is putting the cart before the horse. Such a ‘process’ represents a deceptive and anti-democratic attempt to create the impression that public consultation on the basic question of whether a fracking industry would present a significant risk to public health and the environment is actually happening. It is clear from the contents of this draft document - that the bodies involved have no intention of addressing this basic question. The predominant focus on 'regulation' within the terms of reference document indicates that, for the purposes of this exercise, the EPA is in effect operating as part of the Fracking lobby.

The nature of this document should give pause for thought to anyone considering taking part in consultations of whatever kind with the EPA and its partners on this issue. The other basic concern of the document is to outline the type of industrial research that a business seeking to operate in the industry ought to produce. No Fracking Ireland has not participated in this ‘consultation’ process.

The shameful role of the EPA

We believe it is shameful that the EPA has involved itself in the issuing of such draft terms of reference. These terms of reference sideline basic questions about the environmental impact, danger to human health, and fundamental advisability of an extremely controversial process. Instead, they focus on the development of ‘regulation’. Therefore any submission No Fracking Ireland might have made, and any submissions made by others, will be construed as evidence that communities have been ‘consulted’, supposedly in a democratic manner, on this issue.

Any public consultation worthy of the name ought to have happened in public. It would have entailed meaningful and democratic consultations between state representatives and citizens. It would have directly addressed fundamental community concerns on this issue. That would be the most sensible way to deal with the many unknowns with regard to fracking: together with waiting for a clear consensus to emerge from the scientific community worldwide on the issue of its safety.

During the last government an extensive review of the EPA was commissioned by the Department of the Environment. The report produced fifty eight recommendations to improve the agency’s structure and operation. At present the EPA has absolute immunity from prosecution for failure to discharge its statutory functions. The review found this to be no longer acceptable stating that ‘the EPA’s current blanket statutory immunity when carrying out its functions is difficult to justify in a modern context’. We believe these serious issues must also be addressed and rectified before the community could consider engaging in any meaningful consultation with the agency.

What the EPA is in effect facilitating is the State giving birth to an industry that may place established industries in tourism and agriculture at risk, place public health at risk, and unleash environmental destruction - all in pursuit of a fast buck. The precautionary principle should apply.

Rather than participate in a process intended to lay the foundations for fracking in Ireland, we have continued and will continue to work to give public representation to the views of the thousands who have called for a ban on the process of fracking on the island of Ireland.

EPA Page with link included to draft TOR document: http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/ugeecon...40754
Overview of Fracking and Ireland from No Fracking Ireland: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/103388

Related Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/146055765467930/

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   good to see     j-ann    Sat Mar 09, 2013 18:04 
   Some things worth keeping in mind maybe?     W Finnerty    Sat Mar 09, 2013 23:51 
   Can the EPA assess the effects of fracking in Co Leitrim? Not according to scientist Jessica Ernst...     No Fracking Ireland campaigner    Wed Mar 13, 2013 17:19 
   "Short of relocating entire communities or banning fracking, ending airborne exposures cannot be done".     No Fracking Ireland campaigner    Wed Mar 13, 2013 17:24 
   "The Endocrine Disruption Exchange measured the presence of volatile organic chemicals —many of which have known health and carcinogenic effects..."     No Fracking Ireland campaigner    Wed Mar 13, 2013 17:31 
   The great oil swindle     Crazy Cat    Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:39 
   Fracking debris considered too radioactive even for waste site     T    Fri Apr 26, 2013 21:47 

Number of comments per page
© 2001-2024 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy