The coordinators of an EU backed geological survey which is underway in Inishowen are stressing that it is not a commercial venture, and the information is not been gathered for potential fracking or mining.
A County Meath consultancy company recernt;y won contracts to deliver the soil, sediment and water sampling elements of the Tellus projet in the six border counties. Sampling has now begun in Inishowen, with teams expected to be in the area for around six weeks.
The Tellus Border Soil Sampling project is being funded by the EU, and follows from a similar survey north of the border.
Up 16 field staff in teams of two have now arrived in Donegal to begin the survey in the Inishowen Peninsula. The intention is that betweeen now and Christmas, the team will move southwards, samples from over 7,000 sites, covering over 12,000 square kilometres.
The Tellus projece says while the field teams do not have access to land registry information, they are making every effort to gain permission before entering land, and are also working closely with the Geological Survey of Ireland to ensure the programme runs as efficiently as possible, without disruption to landowners.
However, since the sampling programme began in recent days, some fears have been expressed that the sampling may be linked to fracking or some form of mining. The tellus project team is stressing today that's not the case.