Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Monday, 2 July 2012 17:59 UK

NSMC: Environment

The environment minister said there was "no headlong rush to fracking", on 2 July 2012.

Alex Attwood made the comments during his statement on a recent North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) meeting.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is also called, involves drilling down and creating tiny explosions to crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside.

Critics have campaigned against the method claiming it can pollute water and cause minor earthquakes.

Mr Attwood said assessments would have to be made on planning applications and as to whether a public inquiry would take place.

Anna Lo, environment committee chairwoman, asked how the minister intended to improve the audit trail of used tyres in Northern Ireland.

Mr Attwood told members an action plan for dealing with tyres in Northern Ireland would be informed by an all-Ireland tyre survey.

Mr Attwood also said he would be meeting with Justice Minister David Ford to discuss how his department could deal with illegal operators and fuel laundering.

The Charities Bill also passed its first stage.

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