I understand that officials of D??chas have been in close consultation with Enterprise Oil in recent days, as a result of which they are satisfied that the Sand Martins are not in serious danger from the proposed works
Oifig an Aire
Office of the Minister AN ROINN COMHSHAOILAGUS RIALTAIS
DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT


Mr Tony Lowes Director
Friends of the Irish Environment Allihies
Co Cork
4 July 2002


Dear Mr Lowes

Thank you for your fetter of 30 June 2002 in connection with the proposal by Enterprise Oil to undertake controlled blasting works pursuant to its foreshore license for the Corrib Gas Field Development.


This license was granted following an environmental impact assessment determined by the then Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources and in relation to which D??chas, the Heritage Service was fully consulted. The works in question, and their implications for the natural environment, were addressed as part of this process.


In relation to the present position, I understand that officials of D??chas have been in close consultation with Enterprise Oil in recent days, as a result of which they are satisfied that the Sand Martins are not in serious danger from the proposed works. I am informed that the works in question are close to, but not within, the nesting area of the Sand Martins and that a specific danger to them is not likely to arise.


As regards your reference to the question of an offence under the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000, Section 22f5) (h) of the 1976 Act provides for exceptions relating to the carrying on of building operations or works of engineering construction, which appear to be relevant in this case.


Subject to the above, D??chas personnel will continue their normal monitoring of the Broadhaven Bay SAC with a view to the proper observance of heritage and wildlife legislation. In light of the circumstances explained, the suspension of the present work by Enterprise Oil is not called for by nature conservation requirements.


Yours sincerely
[Signed]~ Martin Cullen TD
Minister for the Environment and Local Government


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