Decommissioning of certain facilities within the Kinsale Head and Seven Heads Petroleum Lease areas
The Minister has received an application from PSE Kinsale Energy for the decommissioning of certain facilities of the Kinsale Head / Ballycotton gas fields and an application from PSE Seven Heads Limited for the decommissioning of certain facilities of the Seven Heads gas field. Production from the Kinsale Head gas field commenced in 1978, with Ballycotton and Seven Heads coming into production later. The fields are now coming to the end of their productive life. The facilities are located in the Celtic Sea, between approximately 40 and 70km off the County Cork coast and onshore at Inch, County Cork.
The application documents can be viewed here.
- considered an assessment of the EIAR which was carried out by RPS, independent consultants, with respect to EU Directive 2011/92/EU, as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU (EIA) (following a screening determination on 26th June 2018)
- considered a technical review of the Natura Impact (Appropriate Assessment) Screening Statement (NISS) which was carried out by RPS, independent consultants, with respect to Articles 6(3) and 12 of the Habitats Directive and specifically Regulation 42 of the European Communities (Bird and Habitats) Regulations 2011,
- received and considered eleven submissions from the public and prescribed bodies on the EIAR and NISS, which have been published on the Department's website since 29th June 2018,
The Minister at DCCAE has decided that further environmental information is required from the applicants for the following reasons;
- The EIA Directive 2014/52/EU, Article 5(3)(c) requires competent authorities
"shall seek supplementary information from the developer, in accordance with Annex IV, which is directly relevant to reaching the reasoned conclusion on the project's significant effects on the environment."
in order to ensure that the EIAR is complete and of the required quality. It is considered certain aspects of the proposed project require the submission of further information in order to fully assess and understand the likely significant environmental effects of the project.
- Insufficient information has been provided to conclude beyond reasonable scientific doubt that the proposed development, individually or in combination with other plans or projects will not have likely significant effect on European sites.
The Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C 258/11 has established that the assessment carried out under Article 6(3) cannot have lacunae and must contain complete, precise and definitive findings and conclusions capable of removing all reasonable scientific doubt as to the effects of a project on a European site. Case C 323/17 established that it is not appropriate, at the screening stage, to take account of the measures intended to avoid or reduce the harmful effects of the plan or project on that site.
Therefore further information also required to allow a definitive determination under Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive to be made.
Please note that the validity of this decision may be questioned by judicial review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No.15 of 1986), as amended inter alia by the Rules of the Superior Courts (Judicial Review) 2011 (S.I No. 691 of 2011) and the Rules of the Superior Courts (Judicial Review) 2015 (S.I.. No 345 of 2015). Any application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made promptly and in any event within three months from the date of this decision. Practical information on the review mechanism can be obtained from the Citizens Information Board, Ground Floor, George's Quay House, 43 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, or online at www.citizensinformation.ie or www.courts.ie.
Kinsale Area Decommissioning Project – Project Information Summary
RPS Environmental Consultancy Support to the DCCAE
EIA Screening Determination for the Kinsale Area Decommissioning Plan
RPS - EIAR Technical Review
RPS - Screening for AA Technical Review
DCCAE Environmental Submission
Request for Further Information