Delivering Health, Safety and Environmental Excellence
“SEPA supports the government programme for demonstrating CCS to test and assess the potential contribution of this technology at a commercial scale. SEPA believes it is essential that the planned UK CCS projects are developed and should be designed to provide data and scientific outputs that will further the development of the technology and improve public understanding.”
Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
Protecting the environment
Assessing environmental impacts
Pale Blue Dot Energy recognises that the Acorn CCS Project, like any project, has the potential for effects on the physical environment and is committed to minimising these impacts. The project benefits from being located within existing industrial infrastructure at the St Fergus gas terminal and using the existing Goldeneye pipeline, which reduces such potential effects on the environment. Where effects are identified, PBDE will seek to avoid, minimise or mitigate them, and protect the environment within which the project is developed.
Different consents are required for the onshore and offshore components of the project. Follow the links below to find out more about the different consenting regimes and the component environmental assessment work being undertaken to support these.
Onshore planning permission
Offshore carbon storage permit
Assessing impacts to the onshore environment
Onshore, the Project will be seeking planning permission from Aberdeenshire Council under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended by the Planning etc (Scotland)) Act 2019.
As part of this process to-date, PBDE has undertaken Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening with Aberdeenshire Council and due to the limited potential for significant environmental effects, it has been determined that a regulatory EIA is not required. However, Pale Blue Dot Energy has committed to undertaking a robust environmental appraisal to support the future planning application. The scope for this appraisal has been consulted on and agreed with the council and other statutory consultees.
View the Aberdeenshire Council screening letter here.
View the Aberdeenshire Council screening response here
Who are the consultees for the onshore environment planning application?
What is included in the environmental appraisal of onshore effects on the environment?
The onshore environmental appraisal covers a range of topics, as shown below. Examples of the key studies and baseline data which are being considered under each topic are also illustrated. Further information on the emerging assessment findings, will be provided during public consultation.
Key onshore environmental baseline map
Assessing impacts to the offshore environment
Offshore, the Project will be seeking a carbon storage permit from the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) under the Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc) (Scotland) Regulations 2011. Under this process, Pale Blue Dot Energy are required to provide the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED) with a regulatory EIA to support the carbon storage permit. To-date, the scope of this EIA has been consulted on and agreed with OPRED and other statutory consultees
Who are the consultees for the offshore carbon storage permit?
What is included in the environmental appraisal of offshore effects on the environment?
The offshore environmental appraisal covers a range of topics, as shown below. Examples of the key studies and baseline data which are being considered under each topic are also illustrated. Further information on the emerging assessment findings, will be provided during public consultation.
Key offshore environmental baseline map
The map details the area which is being assessed as part of the environmental appraisal for the offshore carbon storage permit.
Next steps in the environmental appraisal
Going forward, detailed assessments will be undertaken in parallel with the engineering design across the agreed environmental topics and supported by the baseline information collated. These assessments will follow established best practice, will embed mitigation to minimise environmental impacts and are being undertaken by independent consultants.
Engagement and consultation
Engagement is well underway with environmental stakeholders in support of the environmental appraisal. This includes both on and offshore statutory bodies and wider technical stakeholders. Engagement will be ongoing and the baseline data and feedback from these stakeholders is being used to inform the evolving assessment.
This virtual townhall is the first stage in what will be an ongoing dialogue with communities and wider stakeholders. In October, Pale Blue Dot Energy will announce its plans on formally consulting with the public to present the findings of the environmental appraisal. At this time, we will request feedback from stakeholders on the evolving design and the emerging findings of our work.
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