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Durkan's rejection of drilling application at potential fracking site is welcome

12 Aug 2014

Mark H Durkan MLA

Commenting on the Northern Ireland Environment Minister's decision to reject Tamboran's exploratory drilling application for Belcoo, Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland's Director, James Orr, said,

"Minister Durkan should be congratulated on his decision. He is right to conclude that an Environmental Impact Assessment is required and that exploratory drilling should not go ahead without planning permission. It is particularly heartening to see Mr Durkan invoking the precautionary principle. Northern Ireland's environment has suffered serious damage from unauthorised quarries and landfill sites, pollution factories and sewerage works, and overdevelopment of the countryside. It is good to see an Environment Minister finally taking the job of environmental protection seriously.

"I imagine the Minister has come under a lot of pressure from his Executive colleagues and industry lobbyists to allow this drilling to go ahead. That makes his decision all the more significant. Well done Mr Durkan.

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