Poolbeg storage project to deal with potential “oil emergency” runs €1.6 million over budget due to Covid-19 disruptions

A project to build an emergency oil storage for use amid concerns about the impact of Brexit went over-budget and required approval for injection of an extra €1.6 million in state funding.

The project involved the refurbishment of a 40-year-old oil storage facility on the Poolbeg peninsula in Dublin to help protect against an “oil emergency” in the run-up to Brexit, or in the future.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic saw costs on the project escalate with an enforced closure of the site for almost three months and increased claims from contractors caused by public health measures.

These records were the subject of a frankly bizarre appeal involving the Department of Environment who had claimed that they did not constitute “environmental information”.

At one point, the department said it couldn’t be environmental because the oil supply was very unlikely to ever be used … and that they’d taken measures to ensure there would be no spill.

You can read the decision that resulted from that case here.

TL:DR, yes, information relating to a major project to store oil for use in an emergency is environmental!