Monday, 30 April 2007

One of Rossport Five quits Corrib hearing

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One of Rossport Five quits Corrib hearing

BRENDAN Philbin, one of the Rossport Five, withdrew in protest yesterday from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing into an operating licence for the Corrib Gas project.

Mr Philbin told the hearing in Mayo into the granting of a licence for the refinery that there was not yet a pipeline. "There's a gas field, there's a site for a refinery, but there's a big blank in between . . . You cannot deal with an license when there's a vital piece of infrastructure missing."

He said that the pollution prevention control licence should not be issued until ongoing court proceedings were concluded, and asked how the EPA could reach valid conclusions by calculating imaginary figures - the new pipeline could be 5km or 50km long, he said.

Chairman Frank Clinton said his legal advice was "to press on", and that the company had informed the agency it was not yet in a position to clarify matters.

Mr Clinton agreed he would have to consider such problems in his report. "You are absolutely right; the changing situation in the background has a bearing."

He added that the new pipeline could change the inventory of what was needed for the project.

The hearing reconvenes next Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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