Principle of Safety Vindicated

November 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Today’s decision on the Corrib gas pipeline by An Bord Pleanala finally accepts a critical principle that has longed formed part of the campaign against the Corrib gas project. The Board finds that:

The proposal to route the pipeline at a proximity distance from dwellings which is within the hazard range of the pipeline should a failure occur is unacceptable.

This is a very important vindication of the local community’s campaign. It also specifically validates the position of the Rossport Five. Their opposition caused the original pipeline route to be abandoned.

This principle, obvious as it may seem, has been consistently denied by the government (Ministers Fahey, Dempsey and Ryan), by Peter Cassells and by the Advantica so-called safety review. The ridiculing of local fears on this specific point has been outrageous throughout the last ten years.

Furthermore, Shell’s application on the pipe has been shown not to be ‘complete, transparent and adequate.’ This is also an important finding as it once again undermines Shell’s claims to be trusted and competent and to be a safety-conscious company.

However, it is disappointing that the Board has suggested yet another alternative route, this time up the middle of Sruhwaddoccon estuary. This route raises even further safety concerns.

The fact is that the project is untenable. It should be stopped immediately and completely redesigned according to criteria of health and safety and community consent. Another window now exists to bring this about. Indeed, the entire deal governing the project needs immediate review.



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