EPA Public Consultation

Proposed Terms of Reference for Research Programme on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE)

Drilling stage

Discussion Topics:  Each topics section has a space for comments, you can join in the discussion!

Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction is an emerging issue in Ireland, in particular with regard to the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology (EPA press release). The EPA initially commissioned preliminary desk research which was published in May 2012.  A Steering Committee has developed proposed Terms of Reference for a more extensive 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.

Submissions invited, to be in by 8th March.

GEAI respects the right of people and groups to engage or not to engage in the EPA Public Consultation process.

Proposed Terms of Reference document (complete) [pdf]
Proposed Terms of Reference document (summary) [pdf]
About Submissions [doc]


  1. This research could allow the government to establish grounds to allow the process of high volume hydraulic fracturing to be used anywhere in Ireland. It may be used for Fracking goal seams, tight sandstones or Shale’s. In granting options licences the state only committed to been prepared to consider granting an exploration licence. The granting of exploration licences is a critical decision that need to be understood in terms of the commitment of the state to proceeding with Gas development if companies go on to form the basis for commerciality (by Fracking). Built into the terms of reference is a commitment (in the licensing terms) that the minister will offer a production licence and a lease. Hundreds of thousands of acres may be offered up (anywhere the company feels is commercially viable). This is unprecedented on the island of Ireland with Gas companies involved in mass industrialisation of agricultural and forested areas. The decision to allow this activity must not be made without proper consideration. This research must not be about rubber stamping unproven future engineering solutions to problem from a process that is creating environmental and human health concerns. While this research is attempting to answer important questions about Irish geology these questions must not be put before questions about human health impacts, energy policy, sustainable development and the effects on other industries. This submission process must be about the terms of reference for a proper consideration of the decision to grant exploration licences.
    It could also be a legitimate place for us just to say No thanks.

    • In considering decision making like the granting of an exploration licence strategic thinking needs to be applied. Dr. Ulrike Proebstl from BOKU University of Life Sciences in Vienna provides insight into her research.


  1. […] The EPA has invited submissions on the proposed Terms of Reference, with a deadline of 8th March. We call on all concerned citizens to join with us and to send submissions to the EPA demanding such a Health Impact […]

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