Skip to main content

Court in session for Shell

Energy Global

Local residents have initiated a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision granting Shell E&P Ireland an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control licence (IPPC) for the Corrib gas refinery in Co Mayo, claiming the decision to grant the license is flawed and should be set aside.

The EPA granted the IPPC licence for the Bellanaboy Bridge gas terminal, a gas refinery and large combustion plant designed to process 9.9 million m3/day of natural gas.Once operational, the refinery will treat gas from the offshore Corrib gas field, transported via a 65km pipeline before it is discharged into the existing Bord Gais gas network.

Michael O’Donnell BL, said the challenge concerned has been “quite a controversial development” for the last number of years. The refinery is part of a project that has resulted in several protests and complex court actions involving local people, environmental campaigners and Shell. The clients O’Donnell represents, in this case, all live close to the refinery and say they will be gravely affected by the gas facility, which is due to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The residents argue the EPA failed to have adequate regard to the EU Habitats Directive in its decision granting a license and failed to carry out an appropriate assessment for the purposes of the Habitats Directive. It has also been alleged that some steps required under the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive have not been followed.

In judicial review proceedings, the four local residents have stated their aim to seek a list of orders and declarations, including an order to overturn the EPA's decision to grant Shell E&P a IPPC licence and an order requiring the EPA and the State to carry out an EIA that will include all elements of the development.

The residents are also after declarations that both the EPA and the State must take all measures to fix any past failures to carry out an assessment of the environmental impact and effect a project such as a refinery as provided for under the EIA directive. Shell E&P Ireland, is a notice party to the action.


RTE News, The Irish Times, The Times


Edited from various sources by Francesca Brindle

Posted Date: 
9 December 2015