The annual Ken Saro-Wiwa memorial seminar 2009

Release from Shell to Sea:

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Please check www.shelltosea.com for latest news, updates and analysis

THE ANNUAL KEN SARO-WIWA MEMORIAL SEMINAR 2009

INVER COMMUNITY HALL
ERRIS CO. MAYO
THUR. 26 – FRI. 27 – SAT. 28 NOVEMBER
6.OOPM – 9.00PM

THEMES

> SELECTED PRISON POETRY OF KEN SARO-WIWA

> REVIEW OF RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON’S LESS THAN FICTIONAL NOVEL ECLIPSE
(2009) ON THE TRIAL AND JUDGEMENT OF KEN SARO-WIWA

> MINING IN THE PHILIPPINES: A FACT FINDING REPORT WITH LOCAL COMPARISONS ON
THE MILITARISATION OF COMMERCE

> MAKING A RIGHT TO A HEALTY ENVIRONMENT AT THE UN: THE ERRIS
CONTRIBUTION

> AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE NIGER DELTA

> PROTECTING THE RIGHT OF PUBLIC PROTEST: THE STRUGGLE OF THE LOCAL PEOPLE

> DETAILED PROGRAMME AVAILABLE FROM 16 NOVEMBER 2009

( CONTACT: 087 628 38 35 )

The Corrib Gas ruling – Mayo News

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8095&Itemid=40

“The most glaring [problem is] that the five kilometre route through Rossport
is refused and Sruwaddacon Bay must be re-considered. This route was already
exhaustively considered and judged to be nonviable by route consultants RPS on
both technical and environmental grounds. So where can it possibly go in that
light.”

Ed Moran

AN Bord Pleanála’s four-page ruling is, in effect, a fundamental rejection
of the Corrib Pipeline application. For diplomatic reasons it is couched in
convoluted wording (eg three counteracting negatives in one key sentence) which
needs close reading. By acknowledging that the project is part of the
government’s strategic energy policy, it avoids an outright refusal and opens
a back door instead for what should be a new, ab initio, application.
My reasons for saying this are twofold, as reflected by the two distinct stages
of the ruling.

The first stage, short and stark, is less than a page but is
damning in its three major conclusions.

Firstly, the ‘design documentation’ and ‘risk assessment’ are both so
seriously defective that they fail to ‘present a complete, transparent and
adequate demonstration that the pipeline does not pose an unacceptable risk to
the public’.

No more damning indictment of the application could be made –
nor could it have been expressed more gently.

Secondly, the crucial and controversial five km Rossport section is stated to
have ‘a proximity distance from dwellings which is within the hazard range of
the pipeline should a failure occur’. In blunt words that means that people
exposed within that range would most certainly be killed or very seriously
injured – a cruel truth is made to sound almost acceptable.

Thirdly, it further states that a key section ‘of the route of the pipeline
… has been omitted from the application’. This issue brought the oral
hearing to a standstill on its first day of sitting as An Bord Pleanála
refused to acknowledge its jurisdiction over that section. So this admission
has far more significance than appears on the surface.

Any one of the above grounds would be sufficient in itself to warrant an
outright refusal. Instead a back-door for avoiding having to make a new, ab
initio application is offered to Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIL).

National TV and radio reports have given the slant that ‘permission has been
given in principle’ subject to necessary amendments. This is blatant PR
‘spin’. The document states: that in view of ‘the strategic national
importance etc : ‘it is provisionally the view of the Board that it would be
appropriate to approve the onshore pipeline development’. In plain words,
the Board would like to give permission but there are fundamental faults which
make that impossible.

The second stage of the ruling (almost three pages) is likewise very damning.
It ensures that the back-door offered is in no way taken as ‘permission in
principle’ being already granted. It sets down fourteen stipulations each
one of which highlights how defective the application was. The most glaring
that the five kilometre route through Rossport is refused and Sruwaddacon Bay
must be re-considered.

This route was already exhaustively considered and
judged to be nonviable by route consultants RPS on both technical and
environmental grounds.

So where can it possibly go in that light?

Also, its failures are all the more appalling since this application was made
under the new Strategic Infrastructure Act which is entirely geared to
‘fast-track’ projects.

It is clear that An Bord Pleanála are in quite as deep a hole as are SEPIL
because of ‘strategic government policy’. It is time for both to face
facts and implement the ‘new’ technology which Shell has for cleaning the
gas at source.

This is now capable of being installed on the seabed, as
Petrobas are in the process of doing in Brazil.
Workable solutions are possible which are cheaper and far more efficient but
SEPIL have locked themselves into a solution about which they are intransigent
despite bringing mayhem to the local population.

Ed Moran is a retired secondary school who lives in Belmullet .

Please check www.shelltosea.com for latest news, updates and analysis

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