Anna Lo MLA said: “I hope that the Department of Enterprise does not base its decision on whether to give the go ahead for hydraulic fracturing based solely on the research carried out by one the companies looking to get a licence to do so.
“We need independent and robust scientific research to be carried out to international standards to determine its environmental impact. It would be irresponsible to allow hydraulic fracturing to start before its consequences on the environment and our health has been thoroughly examined.
“The process of extracting shale gas by this means requires an extremely large amount of water which could cause irreparable damage to our natural habitat.
“I proposed a motion that the Assembly passed in December that called for a moratorium until the impact of hydraulic fracturing was known, and this research has not convinced me that a moratorium should not be put in place.”