Environment Minister Mark H Durkan disclosed that no fracking activities will be allowed in Northern Ireland, including in Co Fermanagh until the practice is proved to be completely safe.
Mr. Durkan made the comments ahead of his visit to Co Fermanagh, where he will meet locals who are against the idea of fracking being carried out in their county, reported the Belfast Telegraph.
“I am acutely aware that the fracking issue is causing great distress to local people in Fermanagh. I will be meeting with residents and elected representatives later in the week to hear their concerns at first-hand,” said Mr. Durkan.” I will reassure them that there is no application in for fracking and that any future applications will be considered in a very robust manner. I have been consistently clear that no fracking will happen on my watch unless there is strong scientific evidence that it is safe for public health and the environment.
Environmentalists and anti-fracking campaigners have been camping in a quarry near Belcoo, where they pitched tent last Monday. The site is near where energy firm Tamboran Resources plans to begin drilling to explore for natural gas.
Tamboran Resources plans to sink an exploratory well, whereby if the samples extracted indicate the availability of commercially viable amounts of gas, will pave way for the use of fracking to extract it.
Bernice Swift, a councilor for Fermanagh, wants the Executive to end its summer recess in order to evaluate ways of how to deal with the possibility of the use of hydraulic fracturing in Belcoo. However, UKIP MLA David McNarry drummed support for fracking, saying the country risks being left behind, something it cannot ill afford to. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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