Western People (Ireland): Shell hopes to gain access to Corrib site today: Tuesday 6 December 2005
by Orla Hearns
Shell E&P Ireland (Shell) says it hopes to gain access to its Corrib gas development sites this morning, Tuesday, December 6.
Protestors have been blockading the compounds since November, 21 last. They claim that proposed environmental works had been completed at that time.
Shell had maintained that traces of aluminium found in site water run off poses a real threat to local water supplies.
In recent weeks the company has been attempting to install and commission water treatment systems to address this issue.
Protestors initially permitted personnel access to the site for this purpose but on Monday, November 21 last they renewed the summer long blockade at the sites in Rossport and Bellanaboy on the basis that they believed Shell had completed all of the necessary environmental works.
Up until yesterday, Monday, December 5, protestors were refusing access to the sites to anyone other than security personnel.
Local woman, Maura Harrington, who has been participating in the protests at the terminal site, said:
“The water filtration units are in place and the welded pipeline has been cut. As far as we are concerned all of the necessary work is over. Anyone other than security personnel has been denied access to the site,” Ms Harrington said.
Shell has stressed that the required works comply with planning conditions and are in accordance with instructions from the Department of Communication, Marine and Natural Resources in relation to the Corrib onshore pipeline. The company explained that it is necessary to install and operate a water treatment system at the sites to deal with a detected Aluminium run-off.
The Shell-to-Sea campaign had last week issued a statement which included a list of questions for Shell in relation to the proposed works. Shell says it has replied to all queries. The company was in contact with representatives of Shell to Sea yesterday afternoon, Monday, December 5. The campaign supporters indicated that they would permit personnel access this morning, Tuesday, December 6.
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