Leitrim County Council Development Plan and vote13th January 2014

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Leitrim Draft County Development Plan
Those who voted against (1): Cllr Gerry Reynolds (Fine Gael)

Those who abstained (4): Cllr Gordon Hughes (Fine Gael), Cllr John McCartin (Fine Gael), Cllr Thomas Mulligan (Fine Gael), Cllr Enda McGloin (Fine Gael)

Those who voted for (17):

Cllr Gerry Dolan (Independent), Cllr Seán McSharry (Independent), Cllr Martin Kenny (Sinn Féin)  Cllr Francie Gilmartin (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Mary Bohan (Fianna Fáil), Cllr John Ward (Fine Gael), Cllr Seán McDermott (Fine Gael), Cllr Gerry Kilrane (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Enda Stenson (Independent), Cllr Seán McGowan (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Tony Ferguson (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Sinéad Guckian (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Paddy O’Rourke (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Caillian Ellis (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Siobhán McGloin (Fine Gael), Cllr Frank Dolan (Fine Gael), Cllr John McTernan (Fine Gael)

This isn’t officially confirmed until the minutes come back.

Reas also: Ban legally feasible?

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This was just passed by Leitrim County Council. 17 for. 1 against. 4 abstain. That the following section on unconventional oil/gas exploration and extraction be inserted into the Leitrim County Development Plan

Leitrim County Council is aware of oil and gas prospecting interests within the Leitrim County area and its surrounds, in particular proposals for unconventional oil/gas exploration and extraction projects/operations.

It is a strategic goal of the County Development Plan to adopt the ‘precautionary principle’ in respect of development where significant environmental implications are involved. Further to this, the Council wishes to safeguard and nurture the unspoilt/green image and reputation of Leitrim and the health of its present and future communities, centred on the rural characteristics of the County, agricultural activity, the landscape and its environmentally sensitive lands and water bodies – both surface and groundwater.

This Council is cognisant of the significant ongoing controversy around, and the significant proven levels of risk associated with, unconventional oil/gas exploration and extraction internationally and acknowledges that the high volume of public objections to unconventional oil/gas exploration and extraction internationally, nationally and locally relate to potential and actual adverse impacts on the environment and human health including impacts on:

Local Communities;
Local Infrastructures;
Local Landscapes and Amenities;
Water Quality and Water Supplies;
Air Quality and Safety;
Land/Soil Integrity;
Agriculture;
Tourism;
Climate Change;
Local Businesses;
Property Prices.

Objections are not solely restricted to the above.

Applications for onshore exploration licences have been received for the Northwest Carboniferous Basin including parts of Leitrim and several other counties.

It is acknowledged by this Council that there is significant and growing public concern in respect to the social, public health, economic and environmental impacts that may be associated with unconventional oil/gas exploration and extraction in Leitrim and adjacent counties. This Council will endeavour to protect the rights of the people of Leitrim and adjoining counties to be safe in their own communities and understands that short term national policy can have long term and permanent negative effects.

On Monday 2nd September 2013 Leitrim County Council passed a motion which called on the National government to put in place “an immediate and outright ban on the exploration and extraction of Shale Gas by the fraction of Shale rock by hydraulics, cryogenics or similar purpose technology generally known as Fracking”.

Having regard to the foregoing, the Council has set out the following policy with regard to hydrocarbon exploration and extraction.

Policy 1
It is the policy of this Council to apply the ‘precautionary principle’ to any oil/gas exploration and extraction projects/operations proposed within the County. Given the presently available scientific and anecdotal evidence of the significant dangers of such projects – it is therefore the policy of Leitrim County Council that unconventional oil/gas exploration and extraction projects/operations not be permitted within the County of Leitrim.

Policy 2
It is the policy of this Council to carefully scrutinise any unconventional oil/gas exploration & extraction project/operation proposal outside the County where it may, due to geographical proximity, have a significant impact on the County and where available evaluation does not allow the risks to the environment of the region, the ecology of the region and human and animal health within the region to be determined with certainty. It is also the policy of this council in such cases to seek from the relevant authorities a comprehensive full life cycle Health Impact Assessment, together with a full life cycle analysis of all possible cumulative and permanent negative effects for the potential full development.

Policy 3
It is also the policy of the Council, in the eventuality that an outside body or bodies takes steps to overrule Policy 1 above, that a comprehensive full life cycle Health Impact Assessment, together with a full life cycle analysis of all possible cumulative and permanent negative effects for the potential full development, will be required for any proposal for oil/gas exploration and extraction projects located inside the County, as a mandatory component of the evaluation of any such proposals.