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Corrib Pipeline

category mayo | environment | opinion/analysis author Tuesday November 03, 2009 22:23author by Ed Moran Report this post to the editors

Bord Pleanala Decision

Today’s publication of An Bord Pleanala’s ruling (4 page statement) amounts to a rejection of the Corrib Pipeline application.

Today’s publication of An Bord Pleanala’s ruling (4 page statement) amounts to a rejection of the Corrib Pipeline application. So stark are its findings that they amount to an outright refusal. But for diplomatic reasons they are couched in convoluted wording which requires close reading. As the Board acknowledges, the project is part of the government’s overall strategic (energy) policy so, instead of issuing an unqualified refusal, a back door is opened for what effectively should be a new ab initio ('from the beginning') application.

The 4 page statement comprises two distinct parts: the first, short and damning, is half a page in length. It states three grounds for rejection:

1. the “design documentation” and “risk assessment” are both so seriously defective that they fail to “present a complete, transparent and adequate demonstration that the pipeline does not pose an unacceptable risk to the public”;

2. the Rossport section in particular has “a proximity distance from dwellings which is within the hazard range of the pipeline should a failure occur;”

3. a short but crucial section “of the route of the pipeline … has been omitted from the application;”

Anyone of those reasons should be sufficient in itself to ensure refusal (*see note below).

The media are giving the slant that ‘permission has been given in principle’ subject only to necessary amendments by the applicant. This is blatant ‘spin’. What the document says is that in view of “the strategic national importance” etc : “it is provisionally the view of the Board that it would be appropriate to approve the onshore pipeline development.” In short, the Board would like to give permission but there are fundamental faults which cannot be permitted.

The second part of the Board’s statement (almost 3 pages) leaves no doubt that, though they are straining legalities by providing a backdoor, there will be rigour in ensuring that it is fully complied with. For this purpose fourteen stipulations are set down which highlight, on one hand, how defective the application to date is, and, on the other, give grounds for hope that the law will finally be adhered to in a transparent and accountable manner, albeit at this late stage. There is much proving and contesting yet to be done.

Edward Moran

*[A very similar situation arose in respect to the refinery application back in 2002 when, instead of refusing permission, a back door was provided by the Board. On that occasion the arrogance of Shell was so astounding that, rather than making the required improvements to their application, they failed to make any of substance. This left the Board with no option but to refuse permission.]

Related Link: http://www.pleanala.ie/documents/other/GA0/KGA0004FILetter.pdf
author by city finalpublication date Thu Nov 05, 2009 00:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell's spokespeople have gone very quiet. Has anyone heard anything from Leeson Street since the ABP statement was released?

ab initio

1. (law) Refers to the time from when a legal document comes into force.
2. (sciences) Refers to calculations from first principles, that is from basic laws without any further additional assumptions.
3. university Refers to a course taken with no prior qualifications.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Nov 06, 2009 17:39author email fred.johnston at rocketmail dot comauthor address author phone 087.2178138Report this post to the editors

During the trades' union Big Demo in Galway today somebody asked me about this song and could they play it. Yes, of course, do what you want with it. I hold no claims for it being of any great shakes song-wise, but it was my personal response and the more people sing it maybe the better.

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn5YQPCc3YI
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Nov 09, 2009 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice to know that Fianna Fáil have looked after even the criminal element in their Party. Ray Burke, who spent over four months in jail for tax evasion, sentenced in Dublin Circuit Court Criminal Court in 2005, and who was also instrumental in selling off our oil and gas rights, received a total of €31,600 over the last half-dozen years in pension top-ups; these include an Oireachtas pension and a ministerial pension, bringing last year's take to €109,865 (Irish Independent - November 9th.) Known as 'Rambo' in his hey-day, Burke was found by the Flood Tribunal to have received corrupt payments from property developers and other 'business interests' in the 'Seventies and 'Eighties. An Oireachtas spokesman has said that there are 'no specific provisions' in place to stop a TD or senator receiving an Oireachtas pension while doing prison time! This from a government who intend to slash welfare benefits and tax childrens' allowances - and this gift to a convicted criminal who created the Rossport fiasco in the first place. If ever there was a reason never in any circumstances to vote for this crew, here's one.

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