Continuing Concerns In Relation To Water Quality
The Project Monitoring Committee for the Bellanaboy Gas Terminal held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, 23rd November. The Committee again expressed concern at the continuing threat to surface water quality in the Bellanaboy area.
The Chairman of the Committee, County Manager, Mr. Des Mahon confirmed that there is an on-going threat to the quality of surface water in the Bellanaboy area. The current situation where access to the terminal site has been impeded for the past week, means that necessary environmental works have not been carried out and the situation continues to deteriorate. Regular sampling and monitoring by Mayo County Council has indicated that there is no immediate threat to the quality of Carrowmore Lake, the drinking water source for the entire region. Mayo County Council, the Fisheries Board and the other statutory agencies represented on the Project Monitoring Committee continue to closely monitor the matter.
Mayo County Council’s monitoring programme has shown that over the past month, there has been a deterioration in the quality of water leaving the Bellanaboy Terminal Site. Mayo County Council is concerned at this deterioration and has written to the developers directing that appropriate and immediate action be taken to rectify the situation.
The project developers, Shell E. & P. Ireland Ltd., confirmed that the volume of surface water which has been stored in the excavated area of the terminal footprint over the summer months has been increased by recent rainfall. Over the past month the treatment plant which is necessary to purify this stored water has been brought onto site and assembled. However due to the resumption of the protest on the gate, access to the site had been impeded and it had not been possible to complete the testing and commissioning of the plant. The developer confirmed that they were seeking to resolve the situation by discussion locally.
Mayo County Council is concerned at this situation. While there is no immediate threat to Carrowmore Lake, the source of the regional water supply, Mayo County Council are anxious that remedial action to deal with the water stored on site be taken as quickly as possible. Mayo County Council are continuing to monitor the situation on a daily basis.
COMMUNITY FUND TO BE ESTABLISHED
The Project Monitoring Committee also approved the first steps to establish the Community Fund for the areas affected by the peat haulage portion of the terminal project. The fund which is to be paid by way of a levy on the developer, will see approximately €400,000 invested in the local communities most directly affected by the peat transportation. To date €100,000 has been paid into the fund and the Project Monitoring Committee approved the setting up of an evaluation committee and the procedures to deal with the disbursement of the fund. The fund will be administered by Mayo County Council through the Community and Enterprise Section. It is expected that final arrangements will be approved and published in January 2006
Mr. Des Mahon, Chairman - PMC
Mayo County Manager