Notice of the grant of permission to PSE Kinsale Energy Limited, to undertake an end of operations seabed survey of the Kinsale Area gas fields, comprising the Kinsale Head (including Southwest Kinsale), Ballycotton and Seven Heads gas fields to confirm seabed status on various sites following completion of decommissioning activities.
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has decided, on 8th March 2023, to grant approval to PSE Kinsale Energy Limited (PSE), to undertake an end of operations seabed survey of the Kinsale Area gas fields, comprising the Kinsale Head (including Southwest Kinsale), Ballycotton and Seven Heads gas fields to confirm seabed status on various sites following completion of decommissioning activities, subject to conditions for the following reasons.
As set out in detail in the EIA Screening Determination of 10th February 2023, the application by PSE to undertake a programme of seabed sediment sampling in 2023 in the Kinsale Head (including South West Kinsale and Ballycotton) and Seven Heads Gasfields using grab or equivalent seabed sampling equipment and a drop down camera, is not likely to have a significant effect on the environment and, consequently, an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required in respect of the proposed survey the subject of the PSE application, subject to attachment of specified conditions
As set out in detail in the AA Screening Determination of 14th February 2023, it can be concluded, for the purposes of Regulation 42(1) and in accordance with Regulation 42(7) of the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations that an Appropriate Assessment is not required in respect of proposed end of operations seabed surveys, as it can be excluded, on the basis of objective scientific information, following screening that the proposed surveys, individually or in combination with other plans or projects, will have a significant effect on a European Site. In addition, as set out in the Annex IV Species Assessment Determination in the AA Screening Determination, it was also concluded that the assessment of impacts (potential impacts and in combination impacts) on Annex IV species, in accordance with Article 12 of the Habitats Directive, which was carried out by PSE, is of an acceptable standard, such that the EAU is satisfied that the proposed end of operations seabed surveys will not adversely affect the favourable conservation status of any Annex IV species that may be present in the investigation area, should approval be granted in respect of the PSE application
The technical elements of the proposals are acceptable and meet the Department's requirements
Please note that the validity of this decision 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 this decision. Practical information on the review mechanism can be obtained from the Citizens Information Board, Ground Floor, George's Quay House, 43 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, or online at www.citizensinformation.ie or www.courts.ie.