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Route identified for Corrib onshore pipeline

Mayo Advertiser: Route identified for Corrib onshore pipeline

Current Publication Date: 18/04/2008
Toni Bourke

After 11 months of public consultation and 14 months of environmental and technical assessment of all route corridor options, a route for the Corrib onshore gas pipeline has been selected.

Route C1 is the chosen one because “it strikes the best balance between the competing priorities of local community concerns, environmental issues and the technical aspects of the project,” according to Mr PJ Rudden, RPS Group Director.

However, Shell to Sea have expressed their disappointment. “This proposed route announced today literally cuts through the heart of our community. It exposes not just the people of Rossport but the people of the entire parish of Kilcommon to unprecedented and unacceptable risk. We do not give our consent to this and will resist it through every legal, political and campaigning means open to us, even though this could lead to more years of unnecessary conflict,” said campaigner John Monaghan yesterday (Thursday).

The route is 140 metres from the nearest occupied house – twice as far away from occupied housing as the previously approved route. The route will have minimal impact on the local environment and designated conservation sites such as Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.

Applications will soon be made by SEPIL to An Bord Pleanála, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and to the Coastal Zone Management Division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for approvals for the onshore pipeline along the proposed route. An EIS will also be submitted with each of these applications, according to the RPS director.

The route is approximately 9.2km long and will come ashore at Glengad before crossing Sruwaddacon Bay into Rossport where ii continues in a north-easterly direction. It then tracks south-east through the Rossport commonage and along the boundary of the Glenamoy Bog Complex SAC. The route then crosses Sruwaddacon Bay for a second time before continuing onwards to the Bellanaboy Gas Terminal.

RPS have made assurances that the route will minimise the environmental impact on Sruwaddacon Bay as specialist tunnelling techniques underneath its surface will ensure the bay is largely undisturbed during construction of the two crossings. An EIS on the proposed route is being finalised and will shortly be submitted along with the applications to the relevant statutory bodies for consent for the onshore pipeline.

RPS have outlined that the maximum operating pressure in the onshore pipeline will be limited to 144 bar, less than half the original design pressure, and they say this addresses the concerns of locals as well as recommendations made by Advantica in their independent Safety Review Report in January 2006.

Notices will be published in local papers of the statutory consultation periods for applications to the statutory bodies.

http://www.mayoadvertiser.com/index.php?aid=5722

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