Analysis

HMIP blocks major gas project in BATNEEC test case

A £1.6 billion scheme to develop oil and gas fields in Liverpool Bay has been thrown into jeopardy by the failure of the developer, Hamilton Oil, to address key environmental concerns at the design stage. Construction of its Point of Ayr gas terminal is nearly complete - but HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) has rejected the company's integrated pollution control (IPC) application on the grounds that it falls short of the "best available techniques not entailing excessive cost" (BATNEEC). The case throws into sharp relief long-standing concerns over the uneasy links between IPC and the planning process.

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