Jan O’Sullivan, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has determined pursuant to the provisions of the Foreshore Act, 1933 (as amended) to grant a foreshore licence to Providence Resources Ltd. in respect of works to undertake site investigations and drilling of a single exploration well off the coast of Dalkey, Co Dublin. The foreshore licence is subject to 22 conditions which include measures aimed at environmental protection, nature conservation, protection of marine mammals and fishery resources, preservation of archaeology, navigational safety, and human health and safety.
Having regard to the environmental assessment of the proposed works and the licence conditions proposed by the Marine Licence Vetting Committee, the Minister is satisfied that the proposed development on the foreshore would not have a significant negative impact on the marine environment, would not adversely impact on European Sites, and that it is in the public interest to grant the foreshore licence having regard to the nature of the proposal.
The drilling of a single exploration well can only take place when Providence Resources Ltd. has secured the necessary consents from the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources.
Commenting on the decision Minister O’Sullivan said, “There was a significant level of public interest in this proposal and it is important to recognise that, in the event there is an application in the future for commercial exploitation, it would be the subject of further formal applications for consents from the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the Commission for Energy Regulation with respect to safety, the EPA should an Integrated Pollution Prevention Control licence be required, An Bord Pleanála under the Planning Acts, and a full lease or licence under the Foreshore Acts, all of which will require an Environmental Impact Assessment, including full public consultation, which may include a public inquiry.