Some courts uphold the Rule of Law (unlike in Canada)! Irish High Court delivers killer blow to US Fracked Gas Imports by ‘New Fortress Energy’ (Shannon LNG)

Main environmental NGOs in North America are synergized and operate as “controlled” (by government, “regulators” and oil and gas companies) opposition. It is easy to spot these groups by their oft chanted poison-enabling statements, “we are not opposed, we just want regulation.” Pfff! What oil and gas corporations heed laws and regulations? What regulators enforce laws and regulations? What regulation will make frac’ing safe, or less poisonous to you and your loved ones?

Can you afford to seek justice?

Why not simply say “No!”

Synergy Alberta’s brainwashing works wonders: Survey suggests Calgarians rate oil and gas more important than water

The groups integrally and courageously resisted Synergy in Ireland; it shows by their massive important actions and victories.

Slides above from Ernst speaking events

Developers of Shannon gas processing terminal ordered not to begin construction; Case brought by Friends of Irish Environment referred to Europe by High Court judge by Kevin O’Sullivan, February 15, 2019, The Irish Times

High Court judge has ordered the developers of a €500 million liquefied natural gas processing terminal in the Shannon estuary not to begin construction, and referred a case brought by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).

Mr Justice Garrett Simons has asked the EU court to rule on issues relating to the European Habitats Directive, notably to what extent it should have applied when An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in 2018 extended planning permission for the project by five years.

In judicial review proceedings, FIE claimed the directive placed a particular onus on the proposed development that was not fully addressed when the extension was sought by Shannon LNG Ltd.

The terminal, due to be located between Tarbert and Ballylongford in Co Kerry, includes construction of a large jetty out into the estuary to cater for large LNG tankers importing gas from locations throughout the world.

The estuary is an EU-designated special area of conservation (SAC) and special protection area (SPA) for wild birds. It is also a “critical area” for bottlenose dolphins.

FIE also claimed ABP extended planning permission when the original permission in 2008 had expired, and the new application necessitated a separate evaluation of its climate change impact.

In his decision on Friday, Mr Justice Simons said the directive “obliges a competent authority to fulfil certain procedural requirements before agreeing to a project which is likely to have a significant effect on a European conservation site”.

ABP and the developers submitted the new application involved a mere change to the period within which the development could be carried out and did not require “screening or assessment under directive – though they had carried out a partial assessment.

Legal development

While the directive was found not to apply to a decision to extending planning permission for a new runway at Dublin Airport, there was a significant legal development since when last November the ECJ, in a preliminary opinion, said “the extension of duration of a development consent is, in principle, subject to the Habitats Directive”.

As a consequence, he decided to refer a number of questions to the court for preliminary ruling though it will not resolve all issues he has to determine. The ECJ case concerned the time-limit on the operational phase of two nuclear power plants due to be shut down in Belgium, while the Irish case was concerned with a time-limit on the construction phase of a project, he noted.

Mr Justice Simons has set out six questions to be addressed by the ECJ relating to the directive and how it might apply to “a decision to extend the duration of a development consent”.

He said he would be concerned if there was any attempt to move to construction of the LNG plant, and postponed any decision on costs.

Speaking outside the court, FIE director Tony Lowes said: “It’s highly unlikely that the ECJ will not rule that an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ must be done before the project commences”.

Shannon LNG said it was reviewing the decision “and remains fully committed to advancing this critical project for Ireland’s security and diversity of energy supply as swiftly as possible”.

The terminal “will keep Ireland at the forefront of the integration of renewables and natural gas in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The development will also provide significant economic benefits to north Kerry and the Shannon region”, a spokesman said.

The project “is a Strategic Infrastructure Development and has been designated as a Project of Common Interest by the European Commission, ”he added.

Irish High Court delivers killer blow to US Fracked Gas Imports by ‘New Fortress Energy’ Press Release by safety before lng, February 2, 2019

–  The challenge by Irish environmentalists has proved that the ‘New Fortress Energy‘ Shannon LNG consent process will take years and may now never come to fruition. 

Safety Before LNG‘ stated that today’s decision was to be expected and does not come as any surprise and thanks the ‘Friends of the Irish Environment‘ for fighting to prevent climate chaos from the environmental madness that is the US fracked gas industry. 

The ‘Friends of the Irish Environment‘ environmental NGO has declared to the world that Ireland is not for sale to the US fracked gas industry.

It warned that the US fracked gas exporter ‘New Fortress Energy‘ will not be able to get full development consent for years because the Irish will simply not accept,  without a strong fight, the importation of fracked gas from America due to its devasting climate impacts, rendering it dirtier than coal. 

Fracked gas is illegal in Ireland and planning permission for the proposed 26km pipeline connecting the terminal has already expired. The licence to pollute  from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will prove an even more difficult barrier for ‘New Fortress Energy due to stricter rules in force since 2014 obliging the EPA to consider  effects on human health. 

Ireland will not accept light-touch regulation where fracked gas is concerned and the environmental standards in Ireland will be too high for the US fracked gas exporter ‘New Fortress Energy‘ to jump over. 

Safety Before LNG‘ says it is is now clear that the ‘New Fortress Energy‘ plan to import fracked gas from the USA is nothing more than an unachievable illusion created to increase the value of its shares following the recent IPO by the company to raise funds which saw its own CEO Wes Edens gambling to maintain investor confidence by buying $35 million worth of shares in the company in inside trading declared to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.


Safety Before LNG
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Liquified natural gas terminal can not proceed

The proposed liquified natural gas terminal on the Shannon River can not now be built until the European Court of Justice determines if the project must be assessed under the Habitats Directive.

The decision to extend the planning permission by 5 years was challenged by Friends of the Irish Environment because of new scientific information leading to the site being declared a ‘critical area’ for the bottle nosed dolphin by the Minister for Heritage’s National Parks and Wildlife Service in 2012.

The 2008 planning permission expired this year before An Bord Pleanála decided to extend the permission without reassessing the project’s impact, in spite of the fact that the original permission was granted when Irish law had failed to correctly transpose the Habitats Directive, according to this judgment.

High Court Judge Garrett Simons told the developers that no construction could begin until the ECJ ruling was made and if the developers wished to do so they must apply to the Courts with four weeks notice. The Reference to the ECJ could take between one and two years, according to legal sources.

FIE Director Tony Lowes said that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that the ECJ will not rule that an Appropriate Assessment must be done before the project commences. The Irish Court cited the ECJ’s ruling that ‘an assessment can not be regarded as appropriate if it contains gaps and lacks complete, precise, and definitive findings and conclusions capable of removing all reasonable scientific doubt as to the effects of the  proposed works on the site concerned’.

‘Ireland’s failure to first transpose the E.U. Directive properly and then to implement it correctly affects many cases. The terms of the Irish Courts’ questions give the ECJ the first opportunity to consider if extensions of planning permission require reassessment because of the passage of time and developments of scientific knowledge about the environment.

The ECJs ruling will have significant reprocussions in Ireland and throughout the E.U. as to how member states protect the environment.’

Fred Logue 087 1316023 (solicitor)
Tony Lowes 087 2176316
Irish language: David Healy 087 6178852

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