Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Serious flaw in the public consultation process: A Letter to the Environment Agency

*2pm UPDATE* - I notice the consultation is open again until 23:59.  Excellent, thanks to the EA for listening.


The date for the end of the consultation is given on the EA website as:  04/03/14 00:00
This is extremely misleading.
Most people reading that date think the consultation ends today on the 4th.  It didn't.  It closed at midnight last night at the end of the 3rd.

This difference is of great importance because:
a)  This permit may be for fracking, and therefore extremely contentious
b)  news of this permit only finally hit the media on Sun & Mon the 1st & 2nd

Evidence that this timing is so important can be seen in the fact that 11 of the 62 comments listed on the website were made on 2/3, and 20 on the 3/3.
We might expect a similar number of comments to have been attempted today, but those voices will now not be heard.
Yet another reason why I believe, as many of the comments also request, at the very least the consultation period should be extended.

Ideally the Application should be rejected, and Rathlin submit a new application that is more clear about what they intend, and consistent with their public statements up to now.

I notice that several other consultations are listed as ending dd/mm/yyy 23:59
This is much clearer.
But several other consultations also have times of 00:00, including Rathlin's other, similar application that ends on the 12th.  Sorry, I mean the 11th.  These misleading dates need to be changed.

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