|17 July 2014||
|Question for written answer
to the Commission
Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL)
|Subject: Report on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining||
|We have been informed by the Plataforma Anti-fracking de las Comarcas de Castellón of the existence of a report commissioned last year by the Ministry of Environment and completed in January 2014 by the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining (Instituto Geológico y Minero — IGME) on ‘environmental recommendations concerning preventive and corrective measures to be taken into consideration in projects linked to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons using hydraulic fracturing techniques’. The Government has hidden this report for over six months because of the negative conclusions it draws. We have only been able to see it thanks to a leak. It is our understanding that, since this report was commissioned from IGME by the Ministry, it should be made public, in compliance with the Aarhus Convention.
Is the Commission aware that the Spanish Government has concealed the IGME report on fracking?
What does it think of this?
What steps does it intend to take in response to this infringement of the Aarhus Convention?
18 August 2014
Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware that the Spanish Ministry of Environment commissioned a report to the ‘Instituto Geologico y Minero de España’ aiming at providing recommendations on prevention and mitigation measures in the field of unconventional hydrocarbon exploration. According to official information from the Spanish Ministry of Environment, this is an internal report which will not be made publicly available but can be made available upon request.
Based on this official information and on the elements provided in the question itself, the Commission can currently not conclude on a possible infringement of the requirements of Directive 2003/4/EC(1) which transposes into Union law the requirements of the Aarhus Convention with regard to access to environmental information.
(1) OJ L 41, 14.2.2003, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2003:041:TOC