On 6 October, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) received an appeal from the environmental organizations Bellona and Natur og Ungdom regarding our decision to grant an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for the "Eirik Raude", issued to Ocean Rig. In the PSA's letter dated October 14th, we reject this appeal because neither Bellona nor Natur og Ungdom are regarded as meeting the requirement of having "a certain association with the matter".
Excerpts from the PSA's letter:
Parties who wish to appeal a decision must have legal standing, cf. Section 28, first subsection of the (Norwegian) Public Administration Act. In order to achieve legal standing, the appellant must have a relevant interest in - and a certain association with the matter.
It is deemed that Bellona and Natur og Ungdom fulfil the requirement of relevant interest. With regard to the requirement for an association with the matter, this means that the matter being appealed must relate to the interests represented by Bellona and Natur og Ungdom. This requirement cannot be regarded as being fulfilled, for two reasons:
The appeal actually relates to the exceptions in the Acknowledgement of Compliance, including the deadline for rectifying certain deficiencies. However, the AoC for "Eirik Raude" does not grant any exceptions that will have an impact on the external environment.
An Acknowledgement of Compliance does not give a party the right to carry out petroleum activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and thus says nothing about where the installation is to be used. The AoC only addresses the status of the installation and the management systems in relation to the HSE regulations. Only when consent is granted can petroleum activities be carried out using the specific installation at the specific location indicated in the consent. In this connection, an assessment can be made of whether the installation constitutes a danger to the environment.
In other words, Bellona and Natur og Ungdom do not possess sufficient association with the case that they can be said to have legal standing to lodge an appeal. The prerequisites for processing the appeal have thus not been met, and the appeal must therefore be rejected, cf. Section 34, first subsection of the Public Administration Act.