Fears rise over next phase for Corrib pipeline

Shell has told locals living close to the site of the planned onshore pipeline that work on the next phase of the project will begin in the coming weeks.

In a letter sent to households in the Glengad area of Pullathomas, Co Mayo, the company said it planned to construct a works compound in the area that would be similar in size to one previously located there in the summer of 2009.

The previous compound had sparked protests but it is understood the company is hopeful that the latest phase of the controversial Corrib gas pipeline project will not result in similar scenes.

The letter also refers to issues raised over work continuing at the Aughoose site. Earlier this month, Shell received a written warning from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources over breaches of conditions regarding the construction of its pipeline at Aughoose.

In the letter sent to households this week, Shell said “untreated peaty water” had been discharged from the site after a period of extremely heavy rainfall and that “the level of peat in this water was above the limit allowed, but this was for a short space of time”.

It stated that independent consultants had indicated that there was no adverse impact on the environment.

Community group Pobal Chill Chomáin said it was concerned over the peaty discharge and Glengad resident Colm Henry said: “There is a big worry here by the locals.”

He said locals had concerns over possible spillages or discharges. His house is less than 400 metres from the proposed landfall valve installation and he said any possible issues could mean increased protests and security personnel in the area, as well as noise pollution and lighting. Glengad is the point at which the offshore pip system hits land.

Work on the tunnel section of the pipeline is due to start in the second half of this year and could take two years to complete.

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