West Cavan Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed
comments by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director, Micheál Ó
Cinnéide that they would not issue licences to begin ‘fracking’ for
natural gas if the practice was likely to pollute or threaten ground
water (reported in Irish Times of 13th January 2012)

‘The whole ‘fracking’ process and the present programme of exploration
have raised huge concerns across this region. I, like many people in
the local community have major reservations about the use of
’fracking’ as a means of exploiting natural gas in the Lough Allen
Basin which includes much of County Cavan and parts of Fermanagh,
Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal and Roscommon.’

The EPA director made his comments at a conference, Watertight,
organised by the EPA and Trinity’s Science Gallary, part of a series
on ‘Surface Tension: the future of Water.’

Last year, Cavan County Council had a presentation from Tamboran, one
of the companies who hold a prospecting licence for the region.

‘Last year, after hearing from the Tamboran Management at the Cavan
County Council meeting, I asked the Council Executive to arrange to
bring relevant officials from the Petroleum and Minerals Division of
the Department of Natural Resources and the EPA to the Council. I want
to hear from them what the regulatory framework is for exploration and
in particular the use of ‘fracking.’ Arrangements are presently being
made for this and I hope this will bring some clarity to the

The current licences in this jurisdiction do not allow ‘fracking,’
unlike that issued in the North of Ireland.

‘Last week I noted in the New York Times that the State of Texas has
introduced new regulations requiring the full disclosure of chemical
and water usage in ‘fracking’ in that State. This system of
exploration is relatively untested, it has raised many more questions
than answers. While I would be delighted to see the gas resources in
this regions exploited in an environmentally sound manner with a real
economic return locally and for the Exchequer, I am not convinced that
we can allow ‘fracking’ in Ireland at this time. I am very anxious to
have the chance to hear from the EPA in the near future at a meeting
of Cavan County Council and hope we all be able to make fully informed
decisions thereafter.’

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