Fracking zones initially targeted by Tamboran. They claim that no parts of County Cavan are economically viable.
An Oireachtas committee is to meet with a number of key groups this morning to discuss the possible environmental repercussions of fracking.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications will meet with senior officials from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, who are the regulators of the industry, the director general of the Environmental Protection Agency, which has recently published a report on the matter, and the Good Energies Alliance Ireland, an independent organisation campaigning against shale gas extraction using fracking.
Tamboran Resources aim to use fracking to extract gas from shale rock in Counties Fermanagh and Leitrim.
"There is no doubt that fracking is a controversial, emotive and divisive issue. It is consequently a topic to which our committee is devoting careful consideration," said chairman of the committee, Tom Hayes TD.
"The debate is particularly charged in the northwest of the country, where areas of Leitrim and Fermanagh are being assessed for their suitability for fracking. EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, at a Committee meeting last month, reminded us that there is little European experience of this process so far and suggested that Ireland should adopt a 'wait and see' approach.
"We will engage with senior officials from the Department responsible for any future licensing of onshore exploration. We will then have an opportunity to question EPA director general Laura Burke on her agency's recent report which summarises the current and potential environmental impacts of fracking. We will also hear from representatives from Good Energies Ireland, who are seeking a ban on hydraulic fracturing unless independent scientific studies verify that it can be undertaken sustainably and will result in no environmental, social or economic harm."
He said the meeting tomorrow will allow various strands of the debate to address this issue and enable committee members gain a greater understanding of the issues involved practice of fracking.
The meeting takes place on Wednesday, October 10 in Committee Room 4, LH 2000 at 9.30am. Committee proceedings can be viewed online via: http://bit.ly/24YmPI