Information

Construction license for project 00009721: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.


Information requested

Some further requests re the latest version of the construction license for this project 00009721 issued in April 2022.

1. I have been able to download a copy of the CEMP submitted in accordance with condition 3.2.7, but can't see the OEMD you say has been submitted in accordance with condition 3.2.5. Please upload a copy or send me one.

2. Condition 3.3.1 requires the licensee to "ensure that the project is carried out in accordance with the Technical Appendix 4.1; Marine Mammal Mitigation Plan (“MMMP”) dated June 2019". Paragraph 4.1.6 of the MMMP says; "As per the JNCC guidance, reports detailing the piling activity and marine mammal mitigation (the MMO reports) will be sent to Marine Scotland at the conclusion of piling activity. Reports will include:

  • Completed Marine Mammal Recording Forms (MMRFs);
  • Date and location of the piling activities;
  • A record of all occasions when piling occurred, including details of the duration of the prepiling search and soft-start procedures, and any occasions when piling activity was delayed or stopped due to presence of marine mammals;
  • Details of watches made for marine mammals, including details of any sightings, and details of the piling activity during the watches;
  • Details of any problems encountered during the piling activities including instances of noncompliance with the agreed piling protocols; and
  • Any recommendations for amendment of the protocols.

Assuming that piling activity has concluded, please send me copies of all submissions made in accordance with paragraph 4.1.6 of the MMMP.

3. Paragraph 4.2 of the MMMP relates to a Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) protocol, and its final sentence says: "The results of the PAM will be appropriately recorded and reported, and in accordance with JNCC guidance." Please also send me copies of any PAM results reported to Marine Scotland.

4. You say that no submission has been made in accordance with condition 3.2.6, but I see that the Works Dialogue Protocol required by that condition does not have to be submitted to you. Can I ask you to contact the licensee and obtain a copy?

5. Finally, a query: the license refers throughout to 'the licensed activities' (as defined in the interpretation section), except in two conditions, 3.2.4 and 3.4.4, which refer to 'licensable marine activities' (which are defined in the 2010 Act). Can you please explain why that is?

Response

I attach a copy of the Operational Environmental Management Document (OEMD), which consists of a report and appendices. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception under Regulation 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reason why that exception applies is explained in the Annex to this letter.

Some of the information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by the Scottish Government will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown Copyright material on the National Archives website at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/

In answer to your question regarding reference to ‘licensable marine activities’, as distinct from ‘the licensed activities’, we can advise that the reference to ‘licensable marine activities’ was made in error. Once a license is granted, the relevant activities are licensed activities.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) (information not held) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.

We do not hold copies of the various reports requested in relation to paragraphs 4.1.6 and 4.2 of the Marine Mammal Mitigation Plan (MMMP). The methodology employed by Nigg for the construction works did not require marine piling activity. Therefore, the reports requested were not required.

Works Dialogue Protocols (WDP) do not form part of the licensing submissions to Marine Scotland Directorate and therefore we do not hold a copy. However, you may wish to contact the relevant port authorities, who may be able to help you.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI 202200314425 - Information released

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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