Protect Clyde Marine Life: SAY NO WAY WITHOUT AN EIA of PeelPorts Oil-Rig Decom Proposals
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Update: 31st July 2019
After several months Marine Scotland are now looking into whether a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be required before they issue Peel Ports the marine licence required for dredging the massive 615,000m3 of sand from the area surrounding Southannan Sands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This vital stage of the licensing will determine the future of the beautiful protected coast line from Fairlie to Portencross, the survival of Southannan Sands SSSI and the OSPAR protected shell fish and Priority Marine Features, including the seagrass meadow and porpoise, dolphins and seals that live in the surrounding waters. See our Quick Guide to the #SaveSouthannanSands campaign Click here to the Friends of the Firth of Clyde web site >>>
If you want to understand more about the issues and arguments, talented local journalist Brandon Cook has made a balanced informative documentary.
If you think Marine Scotland should be told "NO WAY WITHOUT AN EIA" please sign our petition and share with your friends, family and neighbours. #SaveSouthannanSands
To sign up as a supporter or read all the latest updates go to our website at www.friendsoffirthofclyde.org
Update: 10th October 2018
Thank you so much for all your support. We are making good progress and are now in the position to start a preparing the way for legal challenge on the avoidance of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before the change of use for decommissioning was waved through at Hunterston PARC. We have started a gofundme page and any donation that you can spare will help us (Friends of the Firth of Clyde) getting one step nearer to stopping this environmental disaster from happening. Thank you...
I'll start off by posting a link to the YouTube video that CessCon Decom has uploaded with the proposed extensions to the Fairlie site. When you watch it, I'm sure you'll be equally as terrified of the potential consequences of this business venture. If you appreciate the beauty of the Clyde and all its amazing creatures, visiting Largs and Fairlie beach, Arran and cycling round Millport in the summer, you deserve to have a say in this. Please do not turn a blind eye to the destruction of the marine environment and the protected species within.
Here is the video link, please watch, and share it on Facebook and Twitter with your message:
The most important thing to remember here is that all of this has been proposed without an Environmental Impact Assessment! This is known as an EIA, and is a necessary and mandatory process before this project can be considered viable. The planning applications have been divided into sections in order to avoid a total environmental survey of the project, and as such the residents of Fairlie have been left in the dark about 'the bigger picture' and future of the site. PeelPorts have been evasive with questions regarding the YouTube video linked above, and appear to have little knowledge of its existence. The lack of transparency from PeelPorts with concerned residents and environmentalists is an ongoing issue, and recently at the Public Planning Consultation (8/8/18), there was no information offered from representatives regarding the project as a whole. The Peel Group are known for breaking up proposals into smaller parts in order to slip applications through the cracks quietly and without objection, this is called "Salami Slicing' and is a well known tactic to get large controversial projects through without full environmental scrutiny.
Cesscon Decom intends to tow semi-subs and other oil infrastructure in from all over the world into Fairlie for the next 25 years! Marine mammals such as porpoises and seals, and of course our resident dolphin named Kylie, are extremely sensitive to underwater noise pollution. The inevitable increase of marine traffic and piledriving, will impact their quality of life greatly, and will cause fatalities. If these mammals are forced to leave the area, not only will we be losing the incredible diversity of marine life here in the Firth of Clyde, but they will be losing vital social interaction and communication with other marine mammals, and important breeding sites. Animals choose their habitat for a reason; it is not simply a case of packing up and finding somewhere else to hunt, breed and raise their offspring. The yard will in fact have a considerable impact on sea life, birds, cetaceans and crustaceans on the Fairlie sands.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this project are the implications of operating an oil rig decommissioning port on top of, and next to, a SSSI site. This will involve the removal of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sediment from, and around, the impact zone of the SSSI. In itself this should trigger the EIA process, but is even more critical when removing the very feature the site is designated for. It stands to reason that if developers plan to remove this feature that there will be ‘significant environmental effects’. The Developers have also indicated that UK Priority Species will be suffocated by dredge sedimentation, in a SSSI which has already lost 40% of its potential surface area to industrial land reclamation.
We shouldn't forget that another major concern will be the health implications for us humans. (We are often forgotten.) Reports from Fairlie residents of asthma flare-ups increasing in intensity as coal dust is being disturbed on the site whilst deconstructing the existing structures. This is an example of PeelPorts and their 'environmental practices'.
Cutting up oil rigs and ships is dangerous, noisy and dirty and for these reasons it is usually carried out away from population centres. During the work there are usually fatalities. It is likely that operations will continue over 24hours and they will be noisy, very noisy. In Fairlie we will hear the hum of generators, the crash of metal against metal, the rumble of bulldozers and the familiar beep, beep, beep every time a crane or heavy machinery moves on its tracks. The process of cutting up metal structures is messy and there is no doubt that there will be dust problems in Fairlie. Vegetable growers and farmers should also be concerned about the eventual build-up of chromium in the soil.
There will possibly be three or more rigs parked at the asset preparation jetty (Hunterston Jetty) right in front of Fairlie. Semi-subs will moor ballasted up on their pontoons. Don’t forget the rigs they intend to park in front of our houses are some of the tallest structures ever constructed in the world. The rig shown in the promotional film is just a little baby.
Credit to the Clyde Porpoise - Marine Mammal Project for the header photo.
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