Shell rapped over unauthorised drilling

Irish Environment Minister John Gormley has told Shell that it must repair damage done to conservation areas or face possible criminal prosecution.

Over the weekend, Mr Gormley issued a ministerial direction ordering Shell and RPS Consultant Engineer to repair any damage to the protected Glenamoy bog complex at Glengad, Mayo.

It is reported that the firms have drilled two boreholes in the Special Area of Conservation. They were looking for a modified route for the Corrib gas pipeline.

Mr Gormley said: "The actions of the Shell contractors in entering a Special Area of Conservation and carrying out works without authorisation are of serious concern to me.

"I find it unacceptable that this has occurred... when my department has been making efforts to keep in communication with Shell."

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency said that it was confident that Shell's gas refinery and combustion plant facilities at Bellanaboy Bridge in County Mayo would be managed in such a way as to keep emissions low.

James Cooper



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