19/09/18 – Meeting of NAC Council : Answers to EIA Questions

Councillor Alex Gallagher refused to read our his written answer to a question asked in North Ayrshire Council meeting on 19/09/18. We are concerned that Cllr Gallacher was avoiding public scrutiny from people watching the NAC Council meeting live on Web TV. A written record of his answer is available below but should also watch the video clip as has reference to NAC’s “robust process”.

A full clip of NAC Council meeting can be found on the NAC website >>> https://north-ayrshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/369032

Question (s) a question by Councillor Murdoch to the Cabinet Member for the Economy in the following terms:-

“An Environmental Impact Assessment was not considered necessary for the creation of the Caisson Gate and other work to the Hunterston Basin as each individual oil rig would require both a decommissioning statement and an EIA. Does this mean that work to the basin for which planning permission has now been granted, cannot commence until the first oil rig has been through this process and an EIA produced for the entire process?”

Response “No. The approved works and use at Hunterston, includes the decommissioning of oil rigs, platforms, and similar structures that have served the oil and gas industry and offshore renewable industry. It was judged that an Environmental Impact Assessment was not required for these works.

Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA were all consulted as part of the planning process and raised no objections to the application other than technical matters that can be addressed by conditions that will continue to protect the local environment.

There is no requirement in terms of the Planning Acts for each rig which is to be decommissioned at the site to be subject to a decommissioning statement or an EIA, although they may be subject to the EIA procedure through the Petroleum Act.  The responsibility for compliance with the terms of the Petroleum Act rests with the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning.

We are aware of the concerns raised by some members of the local community about the prospect of an oil rig decommissioning site at this location and its potential impact on the environment, wildlife and tourism.

There is no infringement of the SSSI.

We also recognise that the Hunterston peninsula and deep water port has the capability of bringing national and international levels of investment to Ayrshire and Scotland and as such has the potential to transform the economic prospects of this area.”

Responses to Council Questions