Study on Fracking in Ireland Found “Defective”

The following page is based on blogs published by GEAI in 2015


  • “A research study on fracking in Ireland, north and south, is currently in progress, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The research study has been contracted to a group led by CDM Smith, a U.S. pro-fracking consultancy providing services to the oil and gas industry. They are carrying out most of the work.
  • Amec Foster Wheeler is the second major player in the study. Amec is an oil/gas industry consultant whose clients include BP, Shell, BR Petrobras, GDF Suez and ExxonMobil.  This study is being written by the industry for the industry.
  • The Oireachtas has been misled about who is undertaking the study. (Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) have played no part in the research since October 2014.)
  • There is unacceptable secrecy surrounding this research. Interim reports are not being made public; no public participation is allowed before the final report is published; no independent external peer review is planned.
  • This study is not independent yet is intended to underpin government policy on fracking. It is not looking at whether fracking should be permitted; instead it is looking at how fracking can be rolled out.  It is not fit for purpose.
  • Current plans (October) include the issuing of tenders by the EPA for risky seismic testing, air and water monitoring across the Island, providing valuable information to the fracking companies.
  • The Irish taxpayer is effectively giving a subsidy of €1.5 million to the oil and gas industry for this study.”


“We call on the Government, in particular the Ministers for the Environment and for Energy, to direct the EPA to STOP THE STUDY related to the ‘Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE)’ immediately, and to cancel the issuing of supplementary tenders for on-the-ground seismic testing and other monitoring tasks relating to this work.”

The current study, designed in 2012, is out of date.  Over half of the available studies on the adverse impacts of fracking have been published since January 2014. In 2014, 192 peer-reviewed studies on the impacts of fracking were published. In the first six months of 2015, 103 studies appeared“It is clear from the existing literature and experience that HVHF (fracking) activity has resulted in environmental impacts that are potentially adverse to public health” (NY State DOH Public Health Review).

We call for a review of the health impacts of fracking that considers the findings of all relevant peer-reviewed studies and reports, based on the methodology of the NY State DOH Public Health Review (December 2014), to be carried out by the Chief Medical Officer, under the auspices of the HSE and the Department of Health.”

Important links

EPA study – who’s doing what –  Matrix of research team

Queens University FOI

EPA letter re QUB date of opting out of consortium

Text of Minister White response to PQ 16th June 2015  … the consortium includes … Queen’s University Belfast, Amec Foster Wheeler and Philip Lee solicitors, each offering a particular specialism required by the project scope.

Terms of Reference of Research Study UGEE Research Programme