Wednesday 15 September 2010

Shell raises objection to revised emissions licence for Corrib

SHELL E&P Ireland has lodged an objection with the Environmental Protection Agency over a revised emissions licence for the Corrib gas terminal in north Mayo.

Shell originally sought the revised emissions licence as part of a commitment to Erris fishermen. However, it has objected to certain conditions set by the agency in its proposed “determination”, issued last month.

Residents also lodged objections with the agency, which has yet to decide if an oral hearing should be heard. Shell secured its original integrated pollution prevention and control licence in November 2007, after an oral hearing into one of the key consents for the Corrib gas project.

Erris fishermen, who objected at the hearing, were concerned about the impact of emissions on the Broadhaven Bay environment. The fishermen refused to facilitate laying of the Corrib gas offshore pipeline until Shell committed in a legal agreement in August 2008 to change its marine discharge plan.

The company originally proposed to discharge treated “produced” water containing chemicals from the gas terminal through an outfall pipe 2km north of Erris Head into a “diffuser” some 12.7km offshore. However, it promised the fishermen it would discharge through an “umbilical” pipe to the wellhead 83km offshore, while stressing that the original plan was safe.

Responding to residents’ concerns, Shell said the use of the term “pollutants” was misleading and inaccurate and it was “unlikely” there would be a “detectable increase” in suspended solids into Carrowmore lake catchment in the new licence.

Shell also said it was “incorrect” to say there was any increase in the quantity of produced water. It said Mayo County Council had confirmed an environmental impact statement was not required.

Irish Times

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