Wednesday 14 November 2007

Protesters vow to fight on as terminal gets green light

OBJECTORS to the Shell gas terminal in Mayo yesterday vowed to fight a licence granted for the refinery by looking to the courts.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced results of an oral hearing held this year into a licence for the refinery at Ballinaboy, Co Mayo.

It was given the green light after a decision by the environmental watchdog’s board but with 90 conditions set on its design, construction and operations.

Shell was pleased with the licence award and it was “a significant milestone” towards getting the gas off the west coast ashore, it said.

But local Mayo landowners as well as objectors with Shell to Sea dismissed the EPA licence decision as “expected”. Campaigners are now looking at a judicial review to prevent the licence award.

“The (licence) decision was long overdue. We are disappointed but not surprised. We have a number of options, including a judicial review in the High Court to see if the licence complies with the EPA’s acts and that they were fully informed when it was awarded.”

Objectors intend to also examine if the licence is in breach of EU directives governing habitats and water. A European parliamentary petitions committee has already agreed to examine campaigners objections.

Michael O’Seighin, one of five Rossport men previously jailed for protesting over the gas venture, yesterday said protests would continue against at the terminal.

“The community don’t want this,” stressed Mr O’Seighin.

Irish Examiner

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