Public consultation on an application for consent to conduct a site survey (Edgeworth Prospect) proposed by Europa Oil and Gas (Ireland East) Ltd, who currently hold Frontier Exploration Licence FEL 1/17.
An application for consent for a site survey (Edgeworth Prospect) was received from Europa Oil and Gas (Ireland East) plc by the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on 5th June, 2019. The survey application is within Frontier Exploration Licence FEL 1/17, granted by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment pursuant to Section 8 of the Petroleum Act 1960.
This application was posted on the Department's website on 6th June 2019 and the public are invited to make submissions in relation to this application up to the close of business on close of business Monday 8th July, 2019.
Submissions can be sent to PADadmin@dccae.gov.ie.
The following documents were received:
Update 30 August, 2019
EIA Screening Assessment: Further Information Requested from Applicant
Having considered the material submitted by Europa Oil & Gas (Ireland East) Limited in respect of their application to conduct a geophysical and environmental baseline survey at the Edgeworth prospect with regard to the requirements of the EIA Directive (Directive 2011/92/EU, as amended), in particular Article 4 thereof, the observations received further to public consultation on the application and advice provided by Ramboll Environment and Health UK Limited (independent environmental experts advising on this application), it is considered that further information is required from the applicant to enable an EIA screening assessment be carried out on the Europa (Edgeworth) application.
On 30 August, the further information considered necessary to enable an EIA screening assessment and determination to be made in respect of the Europa (Edgeworth) application was sought from the applicant.
When received, the additional information will be published on the Department website and further submissions invited to be made on the additional material during a supplemental consultation period of 14 days. Any submissions received will be taken into account in carrying out an EIA Screening Assessment in respect of this application.
Update 15 October
EIA Screening Assessment
Further to the Department request, the Applicant has provided additional information so that an EIA Screening Assessment can be carried out. This additional information has been published on the Department's website on 15 October, 2019.
The public are invited to make submissions in relation to the additional information until 30 October, 2019, which will be taken into account in carrying out an EIA screening assessment of the application. Submissions should be sent to EAU@dccae.gov.ie
Update 7 November, 2019
Appropriate Assessment Screening Determination and Further Information Request
On 5 November, a determination was made, following screening under Regulation 42 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. 477 of 2011), as amended, that a Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment is required in respect of the Europa Edgeworth Survey, as it cannot be excluded on the basis of objective scientific information that the proposed site survey, individually or in combination with other plans or projects, will have a significant effect on a European Site.
By further Notice dated 5 November, Europa has been directed to provide additional information considered necessary for the purposes of carrying out the Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment of the Europa Edgeworth Survey. When received, the additional material will be published on the website of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (www.dccae.gov.ie) and submissions invited thereon for a period of 21 days.
The validity of the AA Screening Determination may be questioned by Judicial Review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No.15 of 1986), as amended. Any application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made promptly and in any event within three months from the date of the Determination. Practical information on Judicial Review can be obtained from the Citizens Information Board, Ground Floor, George's Quay House, 43 Townsend Street, Dublin 2 (www.citizensinformation.ie) or from the Courts Website (www.courts.ie).
Update: 17 December 2019.
EIA Screening Determination
On 12 December, 2019 an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening determination was made pursuant to the European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Petroleum Exploration) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 134 of 2013, as amended) and in accordance with Directive 2011/92/EU, as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU that the Europa Edgeworth Survey is not likely to have significant effects on the environment and, consequently, an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required, subject to the implementation of the mitigation measures included in the EIA Screening Determination, which must be included in any consent that may be granted in respect of the application.
Further, that any consent granted in respect of this application must require that Europa obtain prior approval from DCCAE should an alternative survey vessel be proposed, in which case confirmation will be required that the survey equipment and methodology on any replacement vessel are equivalent to that described in the EIA Screening Reports submitted by Europa and that the nature and extent of the proposed activities described in these Reports has not materially changed.
The validity of the EIA Screening Determination may be questioned by Judicial Review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No.15 of 1986), as amended. Any application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made promptly and in any event within three months from the date of the Determination. Practical information on Judicial Review can be obtained from the Citizens Information Board, Ground Floor, George's Quay House, 43 Townsend Street, Dublin 2 (www.citizensinformation.ie) or from the Courts Website (www.courts.ie).
Disclaimer: The above is intended for information purposes. It does not purport to be a legally binding interpretation of the relevant provisions on judicial review and it would be advisable for persons contemplating legal action to seek legal advice.