Talamh press release: http://frackingfreeireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Talamh-Press-Release-CERs-claim-to-be-safety-regulator-3.7.13.pdf
Response to CER: http://frackingfreeireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Talamh-Response-to-CER-Safety-Case-Consultation-14-6-2013-Copy.pdf
Unconventional hydrocarbon exploration – and soon extraction as well – are making headway in Europe. The fossil fuel industry has been successful in downplaying the risks involved in the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing and hyping its potential as an abundant and cleaner-burning fossil fuel, particularly for Member States that heavily rely on coal.
Before Christmas, you may have already heard about an EU-wide public consultation about shale gas. This consultation of the European Commission is part of an EU initiative to assess whether or not the EU has an appropriate regulatory framework that delivers “full consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and management of climate and environmental risks in line with public expectations” (annex to 2013 work programme). This work will serve two main goals: On the one hand, to make sure that the achievements of the European Union’s environmental rules in a wide range of areas like climate change, water, air, noise, etc. are not put at risk by the arrival of the shale gas industry. However, the work is also very much intended to remove possible obstacles in the EU’s environmental rules for the shale gas industry to start its work. This work by the European Commission is by no means intended to regulate unconventional hydrocarbons out of existence, rather to try and avoid the worst impacts of large-scale fracking and manage the many risks involved.
This consultation will not lead the European Commission to simply ban the unconventional gas industry, even if an overwhelming majority of participants would support a ban. However, consultations about other controversial topics (e.g. GMOs) typically only contain questions about how to manage the risks. This consultation about unconventional gas offers at least an opportunity to call for a ban, namely under section 2. “Overall perception”: “I believe unconventional fossil fuels extraction (e.g. shale gas) should not be developed in Europe at all”. If we can mobilize our groups and supporters to submit their views, this will send a clear message to policy-makers about the limited public acceptability of unconventional hydrocarbons in Europe.
This is why we need you to spread this message as widely as possible and encourage each individual of your respective network to take part to this consultation and to answer as much as possible in a coordinated and consistent way. The more coordinated and consistent, the more powerful the message will be. If possible, let’s try to get as many organisations as possible to participate in this effort!
Here is the link to EC website where you can take part to the public consultation either as an individual or as an organization: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/uff_en.htm
You can find enclosed a pdf version of our suggestions. In addition, you can also find below our suggestions for the sections of the consultation that offer the opportunity for an open reply. Given the limited space available, it is impossible to address all of our concerns or go into great detail. These suggestions – i.e. just some of our ideas, which you are free to adapt or ignore – can help you and your respective organization respond to this questionnaire.
From experience, we know that we would maximize our chance of being heard and taken in consideration if the questionnaire is filled out in English.
!! DEADLINE: March 23, 2012 !!
Example pdf: Example
EPA Press release:
Public Consultation on proposed Terms of Reference for a Programme of Research on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction
11 January 2013: Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction is an emerging issue in Ireland, in particular with regard to the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology. Recognising the need for detailed scientific information, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initially commissioned preliminary desk research which was published in May 2012. This information has been used, along with other sources such as European Commission reports, to assist in a scoping exercise for a more extensive and comprehensive study of the process. A steering committee has developed proposed Terms of Reference for an extensive and comprehensive programme of research and the EPA has now launched a public consultation on the draft Terms of Reference document on behalf of the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee comprises the EPA; Department of Environment, Community & Local Government; Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources; the Geological Survey of Ireland; Commission for Energy Regulation; An Bord Pleanála; Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland.
Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 8th March 2013. The public consultation will ensure that this programme of research delivers a thorough and robust examination of the issues. It is proposed to award funding for research in three areas:
Fracking Operations, Impacts & Mitigation Measures;
Regulatory Framework for Environmental Protection.
Outputs from this research will assist regulators (North and South) in fulfilling their statutory roles regarding this activity.
Public Consultation Process
A dedicated e-mail address, UGEEconsultation@epa.ie, has been set up to receive all submissions on the Terms of Reference document. Interested parties and individuals are invited to submit comments to the EPA using this e-mail address only. Submissions cannot be considered if:
They are submitted after the deadline of 26th February 2013;
They do not relate to the contents of the document;
They contain personal accusations, irrelevant or offensive statements/material.
A sub-group of the Steering Committee will assess all valid submissions and take them into account when finalising Terms of Reference for the research programme. All valid submissions will be made available upon request (individuals who wish to remain anonymous should note this point).
The EPA expects to commission the programme of research in mid-2013 and intends publishing a number of interim reports while the programme is underway. It is likely that the research programme will take two years to complete. A final report will then be published. The research programme will be co-funded by the EPA, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The document, Proposed Terms of Reference for EPA/DCENR/NIEA Research Programme on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction, (link) is available on the EPA website.
The preliminary desk study report, Hydraulic Fracturing (‘Fracking’): A Short Summary of Current Knowledge and Potential Environmental Impacts, (link) is also available on the EPA website. It provides a general introduction to the environmental aspects of fracking, including a review of regulatory approaches used in other countries, and areas for further investigation and research.
Further information: Niamh Hatchell/Emily Williamson
EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Media Relations Officer
PO Box 3000
Johnstown Castle Estate
Ph: 00353 53 917 0744
Submission on HF
People’s Association Watchdog – Submission on fracking
Submission by Talamh group
Talamh Response to CER-12-181 & 182 & 183
Sarah – submission (odt)
Ineke Scholte – submission draft frame work (odt)
CER draft decision paper is released.
Submissions before 29 March 2012