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Corrib ‘consents’ errors

Corrib consultants ‘consents’ errorsÁine RyanCONSULTANTS for Shell may have breached a variety of laws up to three times in the last fortnight, The Mayo News has learned. Shell to Sea has claimed that invasive drilling works at the old Corrib compound at Rossport on October 16, at the Glenamoy bog complex on October 23 and at the Leenamore Forestry wayleave on October 24, did not have the proper governmental consents.In a statement, the consultants, RPS, confirmed they erroneously bored holes in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in the Glenamoy bog complex due to ‘a miscommunication’ within both RPS and Shell. The area is close to the site of the Rossport Solidarity Camp, which the Circuit Court recently ordered to be dismantled, due to its possible impact on the SAC.According to Shell to Sea spokesman, Mr John Monaghan, ten members of the protest group challenged workers regarding relevant consents at three different locations and on the three occasions they stopped work and left the area.“We have challenged them three times [in the last fortnight] and on each occasion they packed up and left. Last Tuesday when we approached the workers at Glenamoy, the boss told us that they had maps from the National Parks and Wildlife Services which stipulates the area [they were drilling] was not in a SAC,” said John Monaghan. “We then produced our maps which clearly showed the area was, in fact, in a SAC.”He also observed that An Taisce has already objected to the access road to the site due to its SAC status. “We believe that RPS needs permission from the Department of the Environment [Minister Gormley] and possibly the EU for Glengad, the Department of Natural Resources Éamon Ryan] for the forestry and they shouldn’t have been in the former compound, as it is several hundred metres away from any of the proposed preferred routes,” he added.In a report last week, The Irish Times revealed that the Department of the Environment is ‘considering what action to take with the Corrib gas developers, following an admission by Shell consultants that they drilled in a special area of conservation (SAC) in north Mayo without the appropriate consent’.A statement by RPS confirmed the company had been carrying out site investigations ‘in and around the short-listed corridors’ in recent weeks. “These works consist of drilling a number of boreholes to obtain geotechnical information. The data which these investigations provide will assist in the selection of an onshore pipeline route for the Corrib gas project. The work is taking place with the permission of the relevant landowners,” the statement said.“By Tuesday (October 23) two boreholes had been drilled in the Glenamoy Bog Complex SAC (Special Area of Conservation) within an area of improved and semi-approved grassland. This was an error caused by a miscommunication within both RPS and SEPIL (Shell Ireland).”It continued: “We are aware that in order to carry out such activities within a SAC, permission needs to be granted by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and we are currently in discussion with them. No more investigations will take place in the Glenamoy Bog Complex SAC without the appropriate permissions. Site investigation works are continuing in other locations in and around the short-listed corridors with landowner approval.”

Posted Date: 
8 November 2007 - 1:07pm