UK government ordered to comply in LNG safety ruling
11:50am Saturday 5th May 2012 in News
There has been a further twist in the long-running saga over the safety of shipping Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) into the Milford Haven waterway.
Last week the European Commission issued a formal notice over ‘failure to comply with safety rules’.
Commission spokesman Joe Hennon said: “The failure in question concerns the assessment of potential risks from LNG tankers approaching and berthing at Milford Haven.”
The EU’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive requires such risks to be assessed and the findings to be made public.
A formal notice is a preliminary step, which ultimately could lead to action before the European Court of Justice if a member state does not comply.
It follows a long campaign to get risk assessments relating to the shipment of LNG released to the public.
Safe Haven campign group spokesman Gordon Main said: “The UK Government’s continued reluctance to produce marine LNG risk assessments for Milford Haven, despite assurances to the Commission that it would do so two years ago, has finally run out of time.
‘These vital safety assessments, if indeed they exist, must now be made public. If they do not exist, they must now be undertaken.”
Mr Main added: “For ten long years people living in the shadow of these developments have been asking for shipping safety information to be made public. At last it looks as though they will get their way.”
Corporate affairs director at Milford Haven Port Authority, Mark Andrews, said ‘extensive risk assessments in full compliance with UK safety standards’ have been produced over a number of years in preparation for the arrival of LNG.
“LNG vessels are regularly and safely handled at the port,” he added.
“Milford Haven Port Authority continues to work with UK Authorities in their dealings with the European Commission on how these matters are communicated,”
A spokesman for Dragon LNG said it was a matter for the UK government and is not directed at UK terminals while South Hook LNG told the Western Telegraph: “We understand that the relevant authorities are dealing with this matter and we will assist if appropriate to do so.”