In the light of growing discussion around the practice of ‘fracking’, Westmeath County Council confirmed this week that it is “not aware of any proposals which involve fracking in the Mullingar area”.
Responding to a question from Cllr Davitt at Tuesday’s meeting of Mullingar Town Council, the council’s senior executive officer Declan Leonard said there had been no licence applications for fracking, a controversial method of gas extraction, in the area.
“This is coming up in a lot of councils, including our neighbours in Meath and Cavan. Do we have a policy on this, or can we come up with one at executive level?” Cllr Aidan Davitt wondered.
He also asked that Westmeath County Council “would advise if it is aware of any intention by a commercial entity to carry out fracking in the Mullingar area”.
Mr Leonard said the council’s environment section is aware of the activity, but that the issue has not arisen in Westmeath.
“We have no policy - it is only an issue that has arisen over the last six months or year. A policy would have to be considered, we could get the planning and environment SPC (special policy committee ) to discuss it,” he suggested.