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Shell begin removing illegal drilling work

Shell begin removing illegal drilling work
mayo | environment | news report Thursday February 21, 2008 08:48 by Rudiger
Yesterday Shell began the restoration work ordered by the Dept of the Environment on Glengad SAC. Will they restore the further damage they caused yesterday?
Heavy Machinery on the SAC
Finally, almost 4 months after they carried out their illegal drilling on the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) at Glengad, Shell and their pipeline consultants RPS have started carrying out the restoration work that was ordered by the Department of the Environment. This work involves removing the boreholes which includes concrete and piping from the 2 locations which were drilled between the 18 & 23 of October last year. However it has to be said that even as the forced restoration work is being carried out, Shell & Co are still showing totally disregard to the sensitivity of the area. While carrying out the work Shell brought down numerous heavy vehicles to the area of the first borehole even though it was obvious that some of these vehicles are not needed in the actual restoration of the SAC. Minister Gormley has stated previously that he was ordering the company to restore the area to its “original condition” under Article 19 of the habitats regulations, however bringing down trucks, diggers, vans, tractor & trailers, jeeps, a security hut and a bus is surely not helping to reverse damage already done on an SAC. For the past few months members of Shell to Sea have been trying in vain to find out when the restoration work was going to be carried as it is believed that Shell and RPS were taking readings from the illegal boreholes. However a member of Shell to Sea was told over the phone by a National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) representative that the delay was because it took this long to do up a plan of how the restoration work was to be carried out and that Shell weren’t to blame for the delay. When NPWS were asked if they were going to be supervising the work being carried out properly they stated that they had “every faith” that Shell would carry out the work properly. Initially NPWS also claimed that the restoration work was being overseen by an independent ecologist however given that that ecologist does work for Shell (and also worked for the NPWS) her independence must be questioned. The NPWS representative also stated that “matting” was supposed to be placed on the ground to prevent damage to the SAC from the required vehicles, however no matting was visible and some of the land and the road on the SAC we churned up considerably by all the heavy vehicles. As is becoming the norm now the Gardaí arrived in Glengad along with the Shell workers and were down on the SAC while the restoration work was being carried out. This in spite of the fact that members of Shell to Sea have for months being calling for this work to be carried out as quickly as possible and would hardly then go and try and disrupt it. The line between the Gardaí and Shell security workers is dulling even further lately, as it is now even harder to tell them apart in either job description, dialogue or clothing. Finally while I have a lot of respect for the good works that NPWS carry out all over the country, their conduct so far with regard to dealing Shell and the Glenamoy Bog Complex SAC hasn’t instilled great confidence in the people of the area. Last year the NPWS wrote a report on the damage that the Rossport Solidarity Camp was causing to Glengad SAC and stated that it could take “10 to 15 years” to recover; when now countless vehicles are driving along on the SAC you begin to ask questions. Having visited the site of the solidarity camp yesterday, it is clear no major impact has been left on the area where the camp stood only months ago. Currently NPWS are bringing 2 Mayo farmers to court for grazing sheep on a Specially Protected Area (SPA) yet on the other hand they seem to have “every faith” in a multinational that has an almost unparalleled history of damaging the environments in which they operate. []
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Damage on the SAC
More damage on the SAC

by JM Fri Feb 22, 2008 16:04 Rossport
"Restoration" works carried out during February 08
survey works last week
equipment hauled onto SAC
traffic damage
work base erected within SAC
more traffic damage

more pics
by JM Fri Feb 22, 2008 16:09
5 more
vehicles arrive yesterday morning
traffic entering SAC from different directions
Gardai make a big splash
some damage up close
machinery parked on unprotected green area

more pics
by JM Fri Feb 22, 2008 16:16
another 5
messy roadway
suspected toilet waste
waste up close
working by the sea
heavy machinery with steel tracks on the SAC

Posted Date: 
21 February 2008 - 2:03pm