HOPES are high a new review into the planning process for oil and gas development will help prevent future fracking in Fermanagh.
On Monday this week Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced the planning review, stating it would “include consideration of unconventional hydrocarbon development, commonly referred to as fracking.”
Minister Mallon also issued a ‘direction’ that now requires local Council planning authorities to notify the Department of Infrastructure if they intend to propose granting permission for any type of petroleum development, which would also include fracking as it comes under petroleum planning legislation.
Minister Mallon did not explicitly state what the outcome of the current planning review would be, but did state she had launched the review in light of the ever-growing climate crisis.
Fracking, which is a form of natural gas extraction, is known not only to be harmful to the local environment where it takes place, but also harms the global climate through the release of methane.
“The planning system has a key role to play in helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change and in the protection of our cherished local environment which must be safeguarded, not only for the health and wellbeing of current generations, but in the long term public interest of future society,” said Minister Mallon.
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