Press Reports Hunterston Oil Rig Plans May Face Another Wait


The Ardrossan Herald reported this week that the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)  may delay their decision on granting the Waste Management License (WML) that Clydeport / Peelports submitted in October 2018 . SEPA told the Herald that “The application was received on 4 October. Whilst SEPA has a four month period to determine the application this can be extended if further time is required.”

FOFOC have vigorously challenged the application for a WML rather than a Pollution Prevention & Control (PPC) permit, highlighting that the decision to not require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prior to planning permission for decommissioning at Hunterston being granted by North Ayrshire Council (NAC) was based on the assumption that a PPC would be submitted to SEPA. Crucially the PPC regulations apply an integrated environmental approach to the regulation of industrial activities. This means that emissions to air, water and land, plus a range of other environmental effects, must be considered together.

In addition we  have pointed out that SEPA itself was / is not in a state of organisational readiness to make a judgement on the license application, as they were still out for consultation on their own Oil and Gas Decommissioning Sector Plan  when the WML application was submitted. The Sector Plan is an interesting read and says a lot of the right things – however it also clearly illustrates how unprepared statutory  authorities and regulatory bodies are for the complexity of decommissioning.

On the 12th November 2019 FOFOC wrote to Terry Ahearn, CEO of SEPA to outline our objections FOFOC to SEPA WML Objections 12 Nov 2018

This resulted in a meeting on 3rd December 2018 in Fairlie held between representatives of FOFOC and SEPA where we made it clear we do not consent to Hunterston and the Firth of Clyde to becoming a salutary test case for  the regulation of the emerging decommissioning industry in Scotland.

We will continue to lobby SEPA and urge all concerned citizens to make their own representations to Scottish Environmental Protection Agency; North Ayrshire Council; Marine Scotland; Scottish Natural Heritage; Clyde Marine Planning Partnership; your local Councillors & MSPs.

If you wish to show your ongoing support for Friends of the Firth of Clyde Join Us as a Supporter for regular updates and information.

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