EIAs for Shale Gas projects “regardless of the amount extracted”

Dartry Valley

Maybe we can keep the Dartry Valley pristine?

Despite strong lobbying from the oil/gas industry, the EU Environment Committee on Thursday voted to strengthen proposed changes to the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments. According to the EU Environment Bureau “this vote will broaden the scope of the directive, close some of the loopholes that allowed developers to avoid an EIA, foresee the monitoring of the projects during all the project phases including post-closure phases, require the assessment of relevant alternative projects and include provisions for better information and a meaningful participation of the public.”
The adopted text explicitly includes “the use of interim measures to ensure the project does not start before the review process is completed.”
Shale-gas exploitation is now included in Annex I of the Directive “regardless of the amount extracted” thus making an EIA obligatory for projects of any size. The vote also supports strengthening the provisions to cover underground and subsoil impacts.
The vote was passed 51 for, 18 against, a powerful indication of the strength of the lobbying campaign waged by environmental groups throughout Europe. Thanks to all who sent emails to MEPs, also to Geraldine, Charlie, Ineke, FOE and all who pushed the campaign in Ireland.