Environment Minister Attila Korodi identified as a problem the fact that from the industrial operations with environmental impact the local communities only benefits from a limited number of paychecks, while most of the revenues are directed to the state budget.
In an interview for Mediafax, the minister referred to his priorities for this year, and some issues related to shale gas exploration and incentives for the local communities to support the industrial projects with environmental impact.
Regarding shale gas exploration, Korodi said that the Ministry of Environment has already done its job, by excluding the use of hydraulic fracturing in the exploration stage. From now on, all depends on how the companies will cooperate with local communities.
“On the issue of shale gas, the Ministry of Environment is not the crucial entity. We gave exploration approvals which made clear that the hydraulic fracturing is prohibited in the exploration operations. And these are all the responsibilities for the Ministry of Environment, regarding the exploration. If we reach the exploitation phase, if anyone files an exploitation request, another game will start, another subject, another and totally different approval procedure, the procedure that is prescribed by the Romanian law. But the applications will come probably five years from now. Until then, thankfully, new and different technologies might reach the general public”.
No hydraulic fracturing is allowed during exploration operations
The minister pointed out, moreover, that “Romania has the obligation and it is normal to find out what resources there are stored in shale, and afterwards to take a strategic decision on the prefered approaches. Yes, there are problems in terms of technology used, and yes there are certain places where this technology can bu used. But it depends a lot on specific of each individual area. So far we still do not know where there is shale gas and and where there is not.”
Without the local community’s support, businesses stand no chance
Atilla Korodi also spoke about the mining sector, where similar problems are present. In terms of benefits for local communities mining can not be limited to new jobs, he said. “It is wrong. The royalties system should be reconsidered. It always is an environmental impact, no matter how much we can minimizes it by enforcing legislation for implementing recovery measures. And because mining leaves a local footprint, it is simply normal the local community is not happy if no economic benefits stay locally. For that’s it, a few paychack apart, there are no revenues for the locals, all goes to the state budget. And here there is a problem that must be managed and solved.”