Delivering Health, Safety and Environmental Excellence

Our commitment to safety and the environment

Health, Safety and the Environment (HS&E) performance is of the utmost priority to Pale Blue Dot Energy (PBDE) and our policy is to achieve HS&E excellence through ensuring the safety of all personnel involved, and the protection of the environment during the project’s development and operation. HS&E considerations have been integral to decision-making throughout the development of the Acorn CCS Project, drawing upon a combination of existing data and specifically commissioned studies to ensure a thorough understanding and assessment of relevant considerations.

Health & safety

A range of studies have been undertaken to identify and assess potential health and safety risks and hazards associated with the project, including the risks and hazards to the proposed development from existing facilities. These studies have informed the concept selection process to-date and will continue through the next stage of project development. This will provide a comprehensive analysis of potential risks and how best to mitigate these through ongoing design and development, to achieve the highest standards of H&S. Alongside these studies, regulatory engagement with the Health and Safety Executive has been undertaken. This has allowed the project team to have a clear understanding of when and how the regulator would like to be engaged in the project and the permitting and consenting requirements relating to the project.

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.

Project consents

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

The map details the area which is being assessed as part of the environmental appraisal for the onshore planning application. Key areas of environmental interest are highlighted and form the baseline for more detailed studies and assessment of potential effects, as part of the appraisal process.

Click to enlarge

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.

Click to enlarge

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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