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Irish Times: Minister will consider deferral of order

Irish Times: Minister will consider deferral of order

“The Mayo-based Shell to Sea campaign described the proposal yesterday as “incredible”. It has been calling on the company for weeks to follow the ministerial order and dismantle the illegally welded section – which was reported by The Irish Times last July.”

Tuesday October 18, 2005

Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent

Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey says he will “consider” a call by some north Mayo residents for a deferral of his dismantling order for the illegally welded section of the Shell onshore gas pipeline.

The Minister was responding to a statement issued by the Pro-Erris Gas Group (PEGG) yesterday, in which it proposed the dismantling be postponed until the Minister’s new safety review is published.

The group said that if the safety review endorsed the onshore pipeline, Shell should be fined a minimum of 250,000 instead. This money should be used “exclusively” on “worthwhile projects” within the Kilcommon parish, the group said in the statement, issued by its chairman, Michael Healy.

The Mayo-based Shell to Sea campaign described the proposal yesterday as “incredible”. It has been calling on the company for weeks to follow the ministerial order and dismantle the illegally welded section – which was reported by The Irish Times last July.

Mr Dempsey directed that the company take the section apart more than 10 weeks ago, and the company said last week it intended to carry out the work this coming week. The Minister said he would consider PEGG’s proposal carefully and talk to Shell in the coming days.

In a separate development, Mayo county manager Des Mahon said he is “satisfied” that the Shell Corrib project is posing no pollution risk in north Mayo.

Mr Mahon was responding to a request from the Shell to Sea campaign for immediate inspections at the Shell Corrib gas terminal site at Bellanaboy.

The campaign said its observers have reported that holding ponds appear to have overflowed; surface drains contain a white substance that may be lime/cement run-off; and significant quantities of diesel are evident on the site surface.

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