ACTIONS FERMANAGH AND OMAGH COUNCILLORS MUST TAKE NOW.Today we have emailed all the Councillors in Fermanagh, and Fermanagh and Omagh District Councils with a list of actions we need them to take now.
We need you to read this so you know the things they should be doing. Copy and paste it and sent from yourselves to your councillors if you wish. Tomorrow night at the meeting of Fermanagh District Council you ask them to do these things for you now. Now there is no doubt or confusion on what we want our elected paid representatives to do for us.
Letterbreen and Mullaghdun Partnership (LAMP) request urgent action by their elected representatives as their health and environment are threatened by action and inaction of NI Government Departments and Tamboran Resources Australia.
We know what Councillors can do when they wish, because in the past they have taken many urgent and fast actions during the hospital debate. At that time actions, funding and resources to the campaigns on both sides were forthcoming and apparently unlimited. Evidence shows the health impacts and risks from fracking will be far more severe than any arising from the location of acute services.
We are not alone in our efforts to protect our people and environment from pollution, permanent damage and exploitation.
In the video link below you can see other communities and Councils defending their areas.
In this video ‘The Truth about the Dash for Gas’ Councils in England, like Bath Council commissioned a special report on impact fracking would have in Bath’s precious water resources, and another Council passing a motion to take legal and all other steps to stop fracking.
Whilst we appreciate the bans that have been passed on fracking at both Fermanagh and Super Council levels, (We also need a clear ban on the first phase of fracking which is, universally, exploration / test drills where the intent is obviously to subsequently frack). There is a clear and dangerous lack of actions to protect the people and environment in this area.
Action from Fermanagh and Fermanagh and Omagh District Councils are urgently required and long overdue. The absence of a proactive campaign on their behalf is causing real distress in many homes across the area.
It is not sufficient for the Councillors to be “standing behind” or “ standing beside” the people that elected them to represent them when those people are very distressed and under threat. Leading with real proactive actions is needed now as they were in the hospital campaigns when people were confident that proactive actions were being taken by their councils and were not so distressed as they are now.
It is not appropriate for the community alone to be exhausting themselves in efforts scavenging for legal and regulation loopholes, to free themselves from the threat of their environment turning into a toxic industrial wasteland. Elected representatives must protect them by real, solid and urgent actions.
Urgent Immediate ACTIONS Required By The Community From Local And Super Councils
1. Urgently commission advice by planning experts (such as Grant McBurney of Carson McDowell Solicitors Belfast, and Connor Hughes of Turley Associates Planning Consultants Belfast) to establish which planning regulations and what other local regulations to halt the test drilling and fracking by Tamboran and all other companies, which may attempt to do likewise.
2. Urgently commission legal advice to protect the health, wellbeing and environment of the people of Fermanagh from all stages including exploration of fracking. Establish on behalf of the people of Fermanagh that where a license was granted by government, to the detriment of the people and their environment, without any consultation, and enforcing traumatic events and threats on their lives, which human rights or other legislation needs to be urgently utilized to protect Fermanagh and its people.
3. Urgently Commission a reputable expert consultants, not under the influence of Tamboran to do a health and environmental impact assessments which will contain all evidence from Concerned Health Professionals of New York’s report on Impact of Fracking July 2014, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s report on Shale Gas and Fracking: Examining the Evidence June 2014, (both attached) and all other evidence of impacts on health and communities from fracking supplied by local campaign groups. This along with a geological profile of Fermanagh, taking into account shallow nature of shale, location of water etc. and quantifying and qualifying potential impacts on physical and mental health, tourism, agriculture, fishing, the landscape etc. It should reflect the whole lifecycle process of unconventional fossil fuels and long-term impacts of extraction by fracking. This report should independently pull all relevant knowledge and evidence together and make it applicable to Fermanagh’s unique situation. The report should also quantify an exhaustive, independent baseline of our current environmental and health. The Terms of Reference for this work should be agreed with Anti Fracking campaign groups in Fermanagh and Leitrim to ensure all potential impacts are covered.
4. Councillors must present evidence against Fracking and take action to get the Executive to act to halt the test drilling and revoke the licence. A recall of the Executive to implement the Moratorium on Shale Gas exploration, development and extraction as voted for in the assembly in December 6 2011
5. Councillors should work to ensure Ministers in the Assembly fully enact the proposed ban on fracking and extend it to any steps such as test drilling / exploration that may lead to fracking.
6. Councillors must seek an urgent meeting with Minister Arlene Foster to halt the test drilling. Tamboran’s license needs to be revoked and ways to do so need to be explored with the help of legal advisors hired by the District Council
7. Councillors must establish and resource an Anti fracking Cross Community and Cross Border Committee comprising of Councillors, Campaign group representatives from Fermanagh, Cavan and Leitrim, NI and Southern Ireland and UK. (As was done during hospital campaign)
Regarding Minister M H Durkan.
Urgently demand Minister Mark H Durkan and Planning to issue an immediate Stop Notification to Tamboran, as there is no planning permission on that site. Ensure prompt and appropriate submissions are made in writing to Minster Mark H Durkan ensuring Tamboran can do nothing without full planning permission and that Minister M H Durkan must take the unique Fermanagh health and environment impact assessments into account for both test drill and fracking applications and delay giving go ahead for test drill until it is submitted. Gain assurance from Minister Mark H Durkan of careful constant monitoring from his department of what is happening at the site. Ensure all Councillors are kept up to date with the precise actions and relevant dates and reference numbers involving licensing, planning and any developments in regard to the threat from Tamboran so they can accurately inform the people of Fermanagh.
Councillors Must Immediately;
Call on Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment for a full economic impact study, including transboundary effects, into the effects of the whole lifecycle process of unconventional fossil fuels, on the Tourism industry in Northern and Southern Ireland and to immediately disband the Shale Gas Regulatory Forum as given that hydraulic fracturing process need to extract shale gas is banned at many levels in Northern and Southern Ireland as it is in Germany and France and the current budget cut backs and limitations it is an inappropriate forum and should never have been established.
Call on the Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure with responsibility for fisheries and inland waterways for a wide ranging impact study, including transboundary effects, into the whole lifecycle process of unconventional fossil fuels on angling, fisheries and inland waterways.
Call on the Minister for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for a wide-ranging impact study into the whole lifecycle process of unconventional fossil fuels, on agriculture, the agri-foods industry, forestry and woodlands, and any other matters for which the Minister has responsibility.
Call on the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment to initiate an SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) into the whole lifecycle process of unconventional fossil fuels as advised by the CNCC (Council for Nature Conservation and Countryside) and indeed by collective responsibility given his tenure on the CNCC when this submission was made by Tamboran director Dr. Tony Bazley.
Further Urgent Actions;
1. Facilitate all Councillors to hear presentations from community campaign groups so the realities of impacts are fully understood and common myths of positive impact on jobs, investment and cheaper fuel are dispelled (Some Councillors still think Fermanagh will benefit – (gas will be sold to international market, jobs are temporary, toxic, and high risk and will never be as permanent or as many as those lost when tourism, fishing, agriculture are permanently impacted due to pollution.)
2. Invite Mary Robinson the new UN Envoy on Climate Change to speak at a public meeting in Fermanagh where Minister Foster and Minister Durkan are guests. (http://theelders.org/article/mary-robinson-fracking-not-solution) Here she explains that fracking releases the worst of green house gases resulting in poor countries experiencing climate shocks, which are undermining food security and is not the answer to energy needs. Councillors must ensure that they are not responsible for facilitating the starvation of vulnerable people, but instead insist on appropriate on clean green sustainable energy sources that have positive impacts on the world.
3. Assist councillors to recognize Tamboran are on a profit motivated PR campaign aimed to divide and conquer our community and not to let people get sucked in. The council should have a plan to help people recognise the serious impacts of fracking, explaining to people why they have put a ban on it and they should openly question claims made in the press by Tamboran to keep the community united and stop the profit driven exploitation dividing the community. Evidence here shows community division is one of worst impacts (Preview) .
4. Ensure Councillors do not separate the later stages of fracking from the first exploration stage. It is all part of fracking. Acknowledge the real risk of toxic impacts from test drilling, and that the current license granted allows fracking.
5. The Council should providing copying of materials and support campaign needs as they did in the hospital campaign.
6. The Council should together with Leitrim and Cavan County Councils organise a cross community and cross border protest at and deputation to Stormont. (Similar to that done in Hospital campaign)
7. The Council should get Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism to host a day for businesses, Waterways Ireland, and allow local campaign groups and Love Leitrim to present and facilitate discussions and raise awareness of impact of fracking on tourism and fishing.
8. The Council should request ICBAN conduct a regional study on threat posed by fracking to tourism, farming, and health. Passing on all evidence collected by local and Leitrim campaign groups.
9. The Council should arrange an urgent meeting and ongoing links with Leitrim and Cavan Councils who have shown solidarity and support to Fermanagh by calling emergency meetings and passing a ban on Fracking in their area, to share ideas and resources, and work in unity to protect the region from all stages and the threat of fracking.
10. The Council should employ mental health professionals to measure and record the intense stress and serious impact of what is happening now to people in West Fermanagh, especially those local to the test drill site. The Council must ensure government departments take account of the current health impacts due to the failure of government to protect the people when so much evidence of harm exists against fracking and to ensure both the Executive and Tamboran are held to account and will be held liable.
11. The council should be actively resourcing, assisting and supporting the campsite and protesters and providing council resources. All Council resources should be made available to the protest camp / vigil and the people who have come to support and protect us.
There is plentiful and clear evidence of an imminent threat to our health, wellbeing, environment, property and livelihoods, linked here. We are well aware of the evidence against hydraulic fracturing and consider it to be, as Mary Robinson states “not the solution”. As elected representatives in this time of crisis you must not fail to protect us.
Thanking you, in anticipation of your urgent attention and action.
LAMP (Letterbreen and Mullaghdun Partnership)
Legal actions we wish the Council’s legal advisors to consider on our behalf;
3. Part 16A (Development Ancillary to Mining Operations) of Schedule 1 to
The Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993 S.R. 1993 No. 278 (as amended) provides permitted development rights for development ancillary to mining operations on land used as a mine. “Mining operations” are defined under the Order as “the winning and working of minerals in, on or under land, whether by surface or underground working”. In addition, the principal purpose of the development provided for by Part 16A must be connected to the winning and working of minerals and the treatment, storage and removal of such minerals. For the purposes of the Order “mineral exploration” means “ascertaining the presence, extent or quality of any deposit of a mineral with a view to exploiting that mineral”. The definition of MINERAL is ‘a solid, naturally occurring inorganic substance’. The definition of GAS is ‘an air-like fluid substance which expands freely to fill any space available, irrespective of its quantity’. Tamboran have no right to drill in Belcoo where their primary purpose is ascertaining if a GAS is present. Please ask them to desist immediately from their work programme or seek an emergency injunction against Tamboran Resources on the above basis. A quarry or mine is somewhere people search for and unearth solids. This is NOT the business of Tamboran Resources
Letterbreen and Mullaghdun Partnership’s No Gas LAMP Campaign.
Sustaining Fermanagh as Clean and Natural.
The Truth Behind The Dash For Gas 2014
Documentary lifting the lid on fracking spin, investigating environmental and health issues associated with fracking in Australia, the US, and Lancashire…