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Projects B and C are planned to talk TIMEFRAME OF RESEARCH REPORTS
e 9 months until final report.
The work planned for this research programme is skewed in favour of the physical sciences, in particular geology and seismology, rather than other vital environmental impacts of UGEE. Reading the proposed Terms of Reference, it appears that the Petroleum Affairs Division and the Geological Survey mainly influenced the content. Accordingly, the study lacks balance and, as written, would not satisfy the criterion of a “comprehensive study” of UGEE.
In particular, the focus of the study on hydraulic fracturing rather than the life cycle of fracking indicates a lack of understanding of the intensive industrialisation of large areas of land resulting from this industry; the impacts on land, air and water; the impact on communities, cultural heritage, and human and animal health.
In addition, a comprehensive study of the effects of UGEE should include an independent study of its impacts on employment and on existing industries such as agriculture and tourism.
Possible discussion points
Widen the Terms of Reference to include the Life Cycle of fracking
Include Health Impact Assessment
Divide the resources more evenly in favour of a more comprehensive study of environmental impacts, which should need more resources and time.
Do not publish final reports before the important reports being developed by US EPA and the EU Commission are published. The Irish report should be informed by them.
Commission an separate report on the study of the impact of UGEE on employment and on existing industries such as agriculture and tourism.