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Shell/RPS can't get community consent for pipeline routes A,B and C so now they have added A1 and C1

Áine RyanTHE FINAL route was to be announced two months ago. Furthermore, a full planning application was to be made during November. Instead, this week Shell consultants, RPS have added yet two new possible variations (Corridors A1 and C1) to the three corridors (A, B and C) announced in late September last. They now say it will be early in the New Year before a conclusion to the selection process. Shell to Sea say they are faced with an impossible task: ‘a final route, acceptable to the community, will never be found’. In a statement yesterday (Monday), RPS announced they were now including ‘two further Corridor options within the core study area’. “Corridor A1 deviates south of Corridor A and therefore limits the distance that the pipeline traverses intact blanket bog in Rossport. Corridor C1 limits the distance that the pipeline traverses Sruwaddacon Bay. All of the Corridors are further away from housing than the original pipeline route,” the statement revealed. The flouting of the original route’s Compulsory Acquisition Orders led to the jailing of the Rossport Five in June 2005. They were vacated earlier this year by the High Court. According to Shell to Sea’s Mr John Monaghan, however, the new route variations are nothing more than modifications involving tens of metres. “We tried to warn RPS at the outset that the original eight corridors would never satisfy the communities because the [inland] situation of the refinery means that raw gas is traversing vast tracts of lands. We believe RPS already realises this, as does Shell Ireland, but they are being dictated to by Shell Exploration,” said Mr John Monaghan. When asked to substantiate this claim, by The Mayo News, Mr Monaghan replied that a delegation of campaigners was thus informed at the Shell AGM, held some months ago in the Hague. When further questioned about a proposal by local priests to relocate the refinery at Glinsk, on the seashore, Mr Monaghan said ‘it was normal practise to locate such refineries offshore or onshore’ and that, while he was not endorsing the priests’ proposal, he conceded, ‘it would obviate some of the more contentious problems’.Regarding the latest RPS announcement, Mr Monaghan compared the intrinsic problem to ‘a man who goes to a doctor with a broken leg and he puts a bandage on his hand’. “If these were corridors to be used for clean, processed gas, they would have some chance. All the variations – including the new ones – involve pipelines crossing SACs, blanket bog, public roads and being near houses. Never mind the closeness of Carrowmore lake, the water catchment for all of Erris,” he continued. Director of RPS, Mr PJ Rudeen, said yesterday (Monday) that the company would now seek ‘input and views on these corridors from landowners and the local community as well as other stakeholders and statutory bodies’. This consultation period will conclude on January 18 next.“We have been engaging in public consultation for nearly a year and during that time we have heard many views from the local community. I would urge people to once again take the time to consider the corridor options and give us their feedback,” said Mr Rudden. Meanwhile, Shell to Sea will host a prayer service, between 1pm and 3pm at Bellanaboy on Sunday, December 16 next.“This special prayer service and carol singing will take place at Bellanaboy to highlight the lack of community consent for a raw gas pipeline and a gas refinery in the area. The occasion is intended to celebrate the eight-year struggle of the local community and its continuing determination to oppose the present project being imposed on them by Shell and the Government,” said Mr Vincent McGrath.For further information on the RPS consultation process, phone 097 20720.
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Posted Date: 
11 December 2007 - 1:58pm