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Petition to European Parliament - Statement from Dr Mark Garavan (NUI Seanad candidate)

I wish to confirm that I have lodged a Petition to the European Parliament’s Petition’s Committee calling on them to immediately investigate possible breaches of European Union Law in regard to the Corrib gas project. I have submitted that the following EU Directives have been breached.1. The Environmental Impact Assessment Directives. They have been breached because the Corrib Gas project has been characterised by ‘project-splitting’. Various elements of the project have been divided and subject to distinct regulatory processes. No process exists, which allows for meaningful public participation, into the project as an integral totality. 2. The Seveso 2 Directive. The competent authority in Ireland charged with implementing Seveso 2, the Health and Safety Authority, adopted a very narrow interpretation of the key concept of ‘establishment’ in determining the compliance of the proposed refinery to the Directive. This interpretation diverges from the explicit terms of the Directive. They judged that the ‘establishment’ did not extend to the boundaries of the refinery site but referred to a narrower work area within the site.3. The Water Quality Directive. The proposed refinery is to be sited within three kilometers from Carrowmore Lake, which is the drinking water source for almost 8,000 local people. This breaches the Code of Practice governing the development of gas refineries and breaches the Directive. The refinery clearly should not be located so close to a large drinking water source.4. Various Public Consultation Directives. The proposed project constitutes a significant potential threat to the health and safety of the population living in proximity to it. The project involves a refinery and high-pressure production pipeline being located within a populated area. The area is rural and lacks any support infrastructure for a project of this kind. No health impact studies have been conducted and no adequate pre-planning consultation occurred with the local population. The level of community consultation and participation involving the project has been far short of what is envisaged by the Directives.5. The Habitats Directive. An Advisory Opinion from the EU Commission has already found the project to be in breach of the Habitats Directive because no adequate studies were undertaken of the nearby Broadhaven Bay, a known breeding ground for cetaceans. It is proposed that discharges from the refinery will be made into this Bay. The project is in proximity to three SACs – Broadhaven Bay, Glenamoy Bog and Carrowmore Lake.I hope that the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee will quickly initiate a comprehensive enquiry into these matters. It is essential that the serious health and safety concerns regarding the Corrib gas project be the subject of objective, independent investigation.For comment and verification contact Mark Garavan 087-9023687.

Posted Date: 
16 March 2007 - 10:09pm