Plans to grant an operating licence for the controversial Corrib gas onshore terminal in Co Mayo were tonight facing further delays after over 10 objections were lodged.
The Shell to Sea campaign group and An Taisce were among a number of groups which lodged objections to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposal to grant the licence.
In January, the EPA confirmed it intended to issue a licence to Shell E&P Ireland to develop gas refinery and combustion plant facilities at Bellanaboy Bridge subject to 85 individual conditions.
Objectors to the project had until 5pm today to lodge their complaints and requests for oral hearings.
The EPA confirmed it received around 13 complaints and it has four months to consider these objections and demands for an oral hearing.
The agency said it was satisfied the emissions from the refinery would not affect human health or the environment.
The Shell to Sea network requested an oral hearing on the matter and lodged four objections with the EPA – including one from fishermen.
The group said it was objecting on grounds of health and safety reasons from the refinery and a threat to the local water supply which is drawn from Carrowmore Lake two-miles from the proposed site.
Heritage body An Taisce has also lodged an objection with the EPA.
The proposed licence would provide for the processing of 9.9 million cubic metres of natural gas per day by Shell which will be exported to the Bord Gais Eireann distribution network.
Shell lodged the application for an integrated pollution prevention and control licence with the agency in December 2004.
In proposing to grant the licence, the EPA said it considered an Environmental Impact Statement from Shell and 35 valid submissions from other parties as well as the report of its inspector.
The 85 conditions attached to the potential licence concern environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the proposed refinery.