Incredible Hulk Mark Ruffalo Takes On NI Minister Over Controversial “Toxic” Oil Drilling Plans

STAR of The Incredible Hulk movie, Mark Ruffalo is taking on The Northern Ireland Minister for the Environment, Mark H Durkan, over plans to drill for oil near the water supply for thousands of homes.

The Hollywood actor claims a toxic mix of potentially cancer causing chemicals will be involved in the drilling.

Mark Ruffulo: Pic, actor's Facebook page

Mark Ruffalo: Pic, actor’s Facebook page

Ruffalo is the founder of not-for-profit organisation Water Defense, and has written to the minister to voice his concerns over the licence granted to Infrastrata to drill in Woodburn Forest 350 metres from a reservoir supplying drinking water to 131,000 people.

Infrastrata and NI Water say there is no risk to drinking water as the two kilometre drill shaft will be shielded by steel and concrete.

However, Hulk star Ruffalo and Water Defense’s Chief Technical Officer, Scott Smith disagree claiming potentially carcinogenic chemicals such as Biocide T and Barium Sulphate will be in use at the site.

Toxic chemical claim

Ruffalo said: “24,00 kegs of [Barium Sulphate] will be injected into this water catchment area, where the geology is untested.”

The North Woodburn Water Reservoir, near the County Antrim town of Carrickfergus, has already been the scene of protests, which have seen the police intervene.

Ruffalo’s organisation is sending water testing kits to residents and Friends of the Earth NI.

“At Water Defense we have travelled the world conducting water tests for some of the toxic chemicals that will be used at the site if drilling is allowed to proceed,” he said.

“We will be working with your residents to ensure the safety of drinking water, including testing the water to ensure residents are not exposed to unsafe drinking water.”

The letter from Ruffalo has also been sent to First Minister, Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Minister for Regional Development Michelle McIlveen, Minister for Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell, and Mid and East Antrim Council.

About the Author

Jonathan Traynor
Northern Ireland journalist. Rock & metal enthusiast and owner of belfastmetalheadsreunited.blogspot.com.