NEWS RELEASE: Green Environment Spokesperson backs EIA campaign

We are delighted that our campaign for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Peel Ports proposals to dredge over 600,000 m3 of sand from the area of Southannan Sands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) continues to gain momentum.

Since the Public Meeting on 8th August at Largs Academy supporters have sent over 3000 individually signed “NO WAY WITHOUT AN EIA” postcards to Graham Black at Marine Scotland and our online petition is moving towards 5000 signatures.

On the 28th August 2019  the Green Party issued the following News Release:

The campaign to protect an internationally important marine habitat off Hunterston received a further boost today as another MSP added his name to calls for a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to take place.

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment Spokesperson for the Scottish Greens joined North Ayrshire’s Green MSP Ross Greer in supporting local campaigner’s calls for the assessment to take place before dredging and construction work for a decommissioning facility can be licenced by Marine Scotland.

Marine experts believe the Southannan Sands ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI), which is directly adjacent to the proposed decommissioning site, is home to mussels, seagrass and other rare species. Dolphins, porpoises and seals have also been found in water nearby. Marine Scotland, a government agency, are currently considering whether to require that a full EIA is carried out. A local petition asking for the impact assessment has gathered nearly 5000 signatures.

Ruskell commented:

“While decommissioning oil rigs is a key part of greening industry, creating jobs and turning our back on fossil fuels, it’s completely counterproductive and totally unnecessary to risk destroying valuable habitats to do it. We need to know what’s there and what the risks are, and only an EIA can do that. I fully back the residents’ campaign saying “no way without an EIA””.

Ross Greer, who attended a public meeting this month in support of local residents commented:

“I’ve written to Marine Scotland, asking that they listen to the petition and require an EIA. The impact of both the construction and operation is clearly going to be huge and existing assessments just aren’t enough. The expected amount of dredging has more than tripled since the plans were first lodged and now stands at 615,000 cubic metres of sand. That huge change alone should be enough to trigger a full investigation of the impact’.

We are grateful to everyone that is working so hard to raise the profile of our campaign to #SaveSouthannanSands and we continue to demand that Marine Scotland say “NO WAY WITHOUT AN EIA” to Peel Ports Plans for oil rig decommissioning  at Hunterston.


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