The Bundesrat, Germany's upper house of parliament representing federal states, has called for mandatory environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for certain shale gas projects.
The upper house backed a motion put forward by North Rhine-Westphalia, which with Lower Saxony has the main reserves of shale gas in Germany.
The draft law says projects with three or more drilling sites should undergo an EIA. This requirement should also apply to projects with an output below 500,000 cubic meters per day, which is the threshold for conducting EIAs for gas projects. NGOs have argued this threshold excludes shale gas projects because it is too high.
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