LNG concerns must not be ignored

2:47pm Thursday 14th April 2011

Dear editor, I am writing to express my concerns over the recent press regarding the LNG leak and the ship noise issues at South Hook.

Firstly, South Hook PR has a very good approach to putting local residents concerns to rest.

This is with the approach of ‘say nothing’ and hope the problems regarding the operational failures go un-noticed.

Here we have two LNG leaks since the start of the operation of the terminal – and they said it would never happen!

The first leak reported in the Milford Mercury on April 24, 2009, was denied – it was claimed the incident never happened.

Now, 22 months later, another leak. But what shocked me the most with your article on April 7, 2011, is it wasn’t even reported to the regulatory authorities.

Only after the incident was reported to the regulatory authorities by a local community group, did the incident come to light.

And once more, South Hook stated that no-one was put at risk and the discharge was completed on schedule. Perhaps South Hook would like to elaborate on how the smallest vessel to come to South Hook was at berth for three days?

And how an LNG release put no member of the public at risk?

At the end of the day, this is what all the people of Pembrokeshire fear.

And then, we have the issue of the ship noise that we have been suffering for two years. Another PR masterpiece from South Hook.

Two years down the line, we have the line of “alleged ship noise”.

As Mr Fairburn put it in last week’s letter to the editor, there is nothing ‘alleged’ with regards to the issue. It is ship noise!

And where was the issue of ship noise in the environmental impact plan for the terminal?

When I raised my concerns to the terminal regarding a vessel at the jetty, I was told the noise I was experiencing was not attributable to the vessel.

And in the next breath, I was told South Hook had worked with the vessels owners in upgrading 15 ships – and when I asked if this was one of them at berth, I was told no!

It is a sad time for Pembrokeshire, when you have local residents such as SafeHaven campaigning for safe operations, and the South Hook Ship Noise Community Group campaigning for silenced ships.

I have to offer my congratulations to these two groups for working tirelessly in trying to improve the situation for others – rather than the regulatory authorities raising their heads to protect the public.

South Hook management – you should hold your heads in shame.

Denying the issues is not an option anymore. The Pembrokeshire people are losing faith – fast.

Joy Smith, Milford Haven

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