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Work ongoing at Drumkeerin landslide site as 2,000 fish saved

Following on from last weeks landslide which is thought to have been caused as a result of work that is being carried out on a wind farm site, Shannon Regional Fisheries Board's Matt Nolan has reported that to date 2,000 small fish have been removed from the Owengar River. ...Having visited the site, Dromahair based Green Party member, Johnny Gogan believes that "it appears that the bogslide resulted from a heavy build up of excavated material on Corrie mountain related to the construction of an access road to the intended wind-farm. Such a liability should have been detected by an effective Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Following on from last weeks landslide which is thought to have been caused as a result of work that is being carried out on a wind farm site, Shannon Regional Fisheries Board's Matt Nolan has reported that to date 2,000 small fish have been removed from the Owengar River.

Work is continuing to alleviate the situation although Matt expressed fears that there is still the possibility of further slippages.

"There are concerns about further slippages especially with the current weather. There is still a lot of work to be done."

While there may be a lot of work to do, Mr Nolan has been very satisfied with the work that has been carried out since the landslide occurred on Tuesday last, September 23.

In the immediate aftermath of the landslide Mr Nolan feels that the co-operation between ESB International (ESBI), Leitrim County Council and the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board was particularly important.

"We are very satisfied with the commitment and amount of work being done. ESBI, the County Council and ourselves are working together.

Enormous work is being done to ensure as much silt as possible is removed from the river and it is being removed physically."

Work... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Following on from last weeks landslide which is thought to have been caused as a result of work that is being carried out on a wind farm site, Shannon Regional Fisheries Board's Matt Nolan has reported that to date 2,000 small fish have been removed from the Owengar River.

Work is continuing to alleviate the situation although Matt expressed fears that there is still the possibility of further slippages.

"There are concerns about further slippages especially with the current weather. There is still a lot of work to be done."

While there may be a lot of work to do, Mr Nolan has been very satisfied with the work that has been carried out since the landslide occurred on Tuesday last, September 23.

In the immediate aftermath of the landslide Mr Nolan feels that the co-operation between ESB International (ESBI), Leitrim County Council and the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board was particularly important.

"We are very satisfied with the commitment and amount of work being done. ESBI, the County Council and ourselves are working together.

Enormous work is being done to ensure as much silt as possible is removed from the river and it is being removed physically."

Work being carried out at the moment involves creating dams and then artificial ponds from where the workers have been able to rescue 2,000 fish to date.

Prior to the landslide, Hibernian Windpower, which is a subsidiary of ESBI had been excavating on Corrie Mountain in order to create an access road in order to create access to a proposed wind-farm.

Having visited the site, Dromahair based Green Party member, Johnny Gogan believes that "it appears that the bogslide resulted from a heavy build up of excavated material on Corrie mountain related to the construction of an access road to the intended wind-farm. Such a liability should have been detected by an effective Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

"An effective EIS should have expressed concern at the scale of a wind-farm, with an intended capacity of six times the existing Corrie Mountain wind farm. The scale of site preparation involved was clearly much more invasive than previous developments where access roads were constructed on top of the bog. This wind farm received its initial planning permission in 2003 and received a renewal of its licence in 2007. What was learned in the interim period from the experience of Derrybrien should have been taken into account."

The location of the landslide has made work on the site particularly difficult and as Mr Nolan noted "the situation and terrain is so difficult we don't know how many fish were killed but we are assuming there were casualties."

The work that is being done is crucial to the long term state of the river and its fish stocks and the work that is being carried out now will go along way towards ensuring the long term prosperity of the river is ensured.

"There will be long term implications", Matt stressed adding that "we have to try to rehabilitate the river over the next year or two years.
"The main importance of the river is for spawning and as a nursery. When the silt settles and we can examine more clearly we will have to rehabilitate over the next year or so.

Johnny Gogan added that while he and his party are very much in favour of wind energy, further scrutiny of construction methods will be needed.

"The Green Party in Leitrim remains supportive of wind energy as one of a number of viable sources of renewable energy in the battle to minimise the country's carbon emissions. However, questions have to be asked about the construction practices involved."

Leitrim/Roscommon Green Party PRO, Gareth McDaid speaking after a visit to the site of the landslide over the weekend commented that "it is clear to me that far from being averted, a very serious environmental incident has taken place here, and that uncertainty remains regarding the full extent of the damage caused. It is also clear to me that this incident could have significantly worse had less favourable weather conditions existed at the time of the landslide."

While the clean-up continues Mr McDaid has called for answers as to how this happened and to revise whether or not it is safe for the proposed wind farm to continue.

"The most immediate task is to find how why this happened, and to fully review whether or not this development can proceed. Councillors in Leitrim must hold the County Manager to account on this issue. A full investigation should occur, and full and frank answers must be provided."


Source: http://www.leitrimobserver....

OCT 1 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17315-work-ongoing-at-drumkeerin-landslide-site-as-2-000-fish-saved
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