Court rules 'no violation' of human rights by terminals

First published in News

Claims that two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Milford Haven breached the human rights of people complaining about environmental risks have been dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights.

The case, which was brought by Alison Hardy and Rodney Maile, of Milford Haven, had complained under two separate articles of the European Convention on Human Rights about the development of the LNG sites.

The court decided that the complaints were “most appropriately” considered under just one, article eight, the right to protection of private and family life.

The judgement said there was no violation of article eight as: “There had been a coherent and comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework governing the activities in question and that extensive reports and studies had been carried out in respect of the proposed LNG terminals.”

Referring to a complaint about the disclosure of information, the court found that: “A great deal of information had been voluntarily provided to the public by the relevant authorities and the developers of the projects.”

It also found that the applicants had “failed to demonstrate any substantive documents had not been disclosed to them,” and that they already had access to a legal procedure that allowed them to seek particular information.

Mr Maile said that his legal representative was “not satisfied in any way” by the judgement, and that he would be looking into the option to refer the case to the Grand Chamber of the Court.

Mr Maile said that while he was disappointed – “this is not the final answer.”

He also said that although he had been advised that the ruling was an “impressive piece of work”, it fell down in the “detailed analysis with what the EU requirements actually were.”

Mr Maile added: “LNG storage tanks, although they look benign, they leak. There was a leak at Dragon LNG a few months ago.

“If that had gone on fire, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dragon LNG would have disappeared off the face of the earth along with Waterston.”

He is due to fly out to Brussels with supporters, where he will speak before the European Parliament’s petitions committee on February 28, to speak on some of the risks of locating LNG terminals close to people.

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