Tuesday, 1 November 2011

An Taisce and landowners withdraw Corrib gas action

LEGAL actions brought by An Taisce and others over the manner in which consents were granted for the Corrib gas project have been settled and withdrawn at the High Court.
The settlement includes an agreement by the state to properly transpose aspects of the European environmental impact assessment directive by the end of this year.

Afterwards, An Taisce said the manner in which the project was consented to was "a travesty" of European environmental law and its legal case was about "breaking bad precedents".

Chairman Charles Stanley Smith said the terms of settlement represented "a victory for the environment".

In a statement to the court, the state defendants acknowledged An Taisce’s case was properly brought and said in view of the concerns raised, the state would establish an environmental law implementation group to formally engage with An Taisce.

While acknowledging the failures of transposition, the state said it was maintaining its claims the consents challenged in the legal actions, including a foreshore licence, were valid and were granted "only after all necessary environmental assessment under Irish and EU law".

Mr Justice Peter Charelton was told by Anthony Collins SC that the actions by An Taisce, and a separate action by local residents Peter Sweetman and Monica Muller, were being withdrawn.

The cases, brought against various state parties with Shell EP Ireland and Mayo County Council as notice parties, had been at hearing before the judge for 11 days.

All parties welcomed the settlement.

Mr Sweetman and Ms Muller, of Rossport South, Ballina, Co Mayo, own land 500m south of the proposed pipeline and, with An Taisce, challenged An Bord Pleanála’s decision last January granting permission to Shell & Ireland for its third proposed route for the pipeline.

Irish Examiner


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