A beginner’s guide to fracking: 2 – its immediate impact

The plan for Fermanagh is for up to sixty multi-well pads with up to 24 wells per pad. Each pad would probably be around 6.5 acres in size (though it could be up to three times larger), consisting of a concrete/stone platform with rig drill, water pit, trucks, waste-water containers, generators and compressors etc. The pads would be located approximately 1 mile apart, and joined by access roads, representing a total of 40,000 acres of development.

A multiwell HVHF pad. The extent to which the ground underneath is more than what many people imagine. However the extent of the infrastructure above ground cannot be underestimated either. Collectively, the technology of unconventional shale gas extraction has many varied social, environmental and economic negative impacts (image soure: peak-oil.com)
A multiwell HVHF pad. The extent to which the ground underneath is affected, is much larger than what many people imagine. However the scale of the infrastructure above ground cannot be underestimated either. Collectively, the technology of unconventional shale gas extraction has many varied social, environmental and economic negative impacts (image soure: peak-oil.com).

There will be a change in land use as the area will gradually become a heavily industrialised zone dotted with frack pads, some of which will be located near farms, houses, villages, rivers and lakes.

Airborne dust and smog from these sites can carry harmful toxic chemicals over many miles, affecting the whole of Fermanagh, while heavy traffic will damage our roads and the repair bill will fall on the tax payer.

Lights will be burning around the sites all night, as work often continues twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, with constant noise from generators, pumps, drilling and trucks.

There is a risk of water contamination (usually caused by human error) and serious health concerns for humans and animals.

All this disruption will take its toll on farming, domestic animals, wildlife and plants.

Fracking will damage the local economy – tourism, agriculture etc. as there is a risk of contamination of beef, milk and other agri-food produce and a certainty that we will suffer the loss of our county’s clean and green image. Any jobs promised will be far fewer than has been suggested, most likely low-paid and short-term – a fraction of those which are likely to be lost in agriculture and tourism.

Questions arise for local residents regarding their insurance – will your home or agricultural policy give you the cover you need?

To download this information as a printable pdf,  please visit our flyers page.

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