A CORK TD has claimed a plan to store fracked gas in Cork could be illegal.
It comes as more than 2,000 signatures have been gathered on an online petition opposing the potential Cork Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal.
If it goes ahead, fracked gas from the United States would be imported into Cork harbour.
In 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Port of Cork with US company NextDecade.
It could see an LNG terminal built, using a floating storage and regasification unit.
An online petition was created by the group ‘Not Here Not Anywhere’ who are a grassroots campaign against drilling for oil and gas off the Irish coasts and the development of any new fossil fuel infrastructure in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Cork East TD Seán Sherlock has questioned the legality of allowing an LNG import terminal in Cork harbour, following similar proposals in Shannon.
He says that he believes the law surrounding fracking could also ban the storing of the material in Ireland.
The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracking) Act 2017 introduced the fracking ban.
“According to at least one interpretation, it is unlawful not only to search for or extract natural gas by fracking but also to store fracked gas in the State,” Deputy Sherlock says.
Answering a Parliamentary Question from the Labour representative, Minister Richard Bruton confirmed that: “NextDecade’s Inisfree project is a private sector project.
"Final investment decisions for this project and compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements in relation to consents or permits will be the responsibility of the project promoter.”