Planning & Consultation
Marine surveys, which commenced in September 2018 and included geophysical and geotechnical surveys, have now all been completed.
The geophysical survey mapped the seabed and sub-surface geology along the survey route corridors to identify marine habitats, optimise cable routing within the survey corridor and enable the assessment of cable target burial depth. It also provided the geophysical data from which a marine archaeological assessment was undertaken as part of the consenting process.
The geotechnical surveys evaluated the nature and mechanical properties of the seabed and intertidal sediments along the survey corridor. This was done using a number of techniques, including drilling boreholes and taking shallow core samples.
Marine environmental assessments
Greenlink will cross a number of European Marine Protected Sites: Special Areas of Conservation designated for the protection of habitats and species, and Special Protection Areas designated for the protection of wild birds. To determine if the project is likely to have a significant effect on the conservation objectives of the sites, a Habitats Regulations Assessment is being carried out in Wales and a Natura Impact Statement is being carried out in Ireland. These processes identify any potential impacts Greenlink may have on designated sites and assesses whether it is likely that the feature of the site will be affected.
Where Greenlink is likely to undermine the conservation objectives of the site e.g. it is possible that condition, characteristics, or distribution of the feature cannot be maintained, then mitigation measures are proposed to manage or reduce the potential negative impacts identified.
We are undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment for Greenlink. An Environmental Statement will be completed for the marine components of the project in Wales and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report will be completed for marine components in Ireland. The Habitats Regulations Assessment (Wales) and Natura Impact Statement (Ireland) will form part of this larger environmental appraisal.
Topics covered by the environmental assessment will include:
» Coastal processes
» Protected sites
» Benthic ecology
» Fish and shellfish
» Marine birds
» Marine mammals and reptiles
» Marine archaeology and unexploded ordnance
» Shipping and navigation
» Recreation and other sea users
» Cumulative effects