A very worrying development has taken place which leaves us wondering what else is going on that we are not being told about. In that regard we have contacted the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine aquaculture licencing section and have also written directly to Simon Coveney………..
I would like to bring to your attention an anomaly which has come to light in relation to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), as part of the licence application for a deep sea development in Galway Bay.
I, along with many other concerned individuals and organisations, purchased a copy of the EIS when it became available to the public. BIM also published the EIS on their website. This EIS is, I assume, the same EIS which was submitted to your department as part of the application procedure and is now part of a statuatory process.
However, changes seem to have been made to the EIS, as it appears on the BIM website. The changes that have come to light are in Part 2 (Project
Description), section 18.104.22.168 Burren Smoke House, on page 97 of the
EIS. Under this section in the hardcopy version, which I assume is
identical to that which was submitted as part of the application
process, there are two paragraphs which read as follows:
Established in 1989 by Birgitta and Peter Curtain, based in
Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, the Burren Smokehouse is a well established
producer of high quality and multi award winning smoked salmon. The
smokehouse produces a wide range of products including hot and cold
smoked organic Salmon, smoked Mackerel and smoked Trout.
The smokehouse exports to the European and American markets, and is
part of the Burren Ecotourism Network, which comprises 20 local
businesses committed to offering environmentally friendly services to
tourists visiting the area. Burren Smokehouse is also a member of Good
Food Ireland and the Slow Food movement”
It has come to light that the second paragraph has now been deleted
from the online version of the EIS and no longer appears on the BIM website. This raises some questions to which I would be grateful for your response:
1) Has the applicant notified the Department of Agriculture, Food and
Marine (DAFM) of changes to the EIS?
2) If so, then when was notification given and what reasons were given
for altering the document?
3) If notification was given, is the applicant oblidged to also notify the public?
4) If notifcation was not given then is the applicant in breach of any
regulations in altering the document which is available to the public
on line, without notifying the DAFM?
5) If notification was given, then who submitted the changes on behalf of BIM?
6) If changes have been made legitimately then is the applicant required
to notify all those who made submissions under the statuatory and
public consultation phase?
7) Can you confirm which document is now being assessed for approval: the one that went through public consultation (in line with the statutory process) or the edited document?
If it is the original, then what is the rationale for the change, and what purpose does the edited document serve if it is not for evaluation?
9) Will you, as Minister with overall responsibility for BIM, now instruct the applicant to provide all other changes which have been made to the online version, and rationale for those changes?
As all hard copies of the original EIS are now different from that which is being made electronically available, it is incumbent on you and your department to instruct BIM to rectify this situation without delay and I am now also calling on you as Minister to make a public statement in this regard.
I await your reply,
Public Relations Officer
No Salmon Farms At Sea.