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MayoAdvertiser (Ireland): Four month wait for oral hearing decision on Shell terminal licence

By Fiona McGarry

The Environmental Protection Agency has just begun considering twelve objections and calls for an oral hearing on the issue of an operating licence for the proposed €200m Corrib gas terminal.

Last month the EPA gave its interim decision on the granting of an integrated pollution prevention and control licence to Shell E&P. The agency said it was likely to grant the licence, subject to 85 conditions, and opened a period for public comment on the matter. Now Shell to Sea and environmental watchdog An Taisce have asked the EPA to hold an oral hearing. Other objections to the IPPC licence have come from the Erris community and local priest Fr Michael Nallen.

The EPA now has four months to consider these objections and demands for an oral hearing. Meanwhile preliminary engineering work on the site is continuing.

Shell says it hopes to being construction work at the terminal site in Bellanaboy this October. The company plans to begin moving 350,000 tonnes of peat from the site before Easter.

Meanwhile, the first in a series of consultative meetings will be held in Belmullet next Tuesday, February 27. The meeting is a forum for local people to discuss their preferences for an alternative pipeline route.

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