Warrenpoint Port has cancelled plans to dump dredged material near protected areas in Carlingford Lough because of the potential environmental impact.
It said early results from a survey showed the work could have had an “unacceptable detrimental impact”. CEO Clare Guinness said the potential impact could have extended to the ecology and aquaculture of the lough. The port had plans to dump material from the harbour and navigation channel near the mouth of the lough. This procedure would have replaced the previous practice of taking the material much further out to sea. But the suggested area was close to zones which had European protection due to their importance as breeding sites for seabirds.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) also expressed reservations and Ulster Wildlife raised queries about the impact on a recently designated Marine Conservation Zone in the area. “Throughout the process, we have been clear that should the scientific research identify the potential for such an impact, then the proposal would go no further,” said Ms Guinness. “We are pleased to deliver on this commitment, in our role as conservators of the marine environment, and will immediately cease pursuit of a revised dredging proposal.”
The port had been asked to submit a report setting out the potential environmental impact and any mitigation measures in support of its application for a licensed disposal site in the lough. The port had said silting of the harbour and channels impacts its ability to accommodate larger ships, reducing its competitiveness.
Source – BBC News
European Legislation requires member states of the EU to carry out assessments of the environmental impact of certain public and private projects before they are allowed to go ahead. The Directive is implemented in Ireland by the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended) and is governed by the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations. The need to undergo Environmental Impact Assessment is closely linked with the Planning Process in the Irish jurisdiction.
An EIA can be required due to the specific nature of a proposed development or because the scale of the proposal exceeds a defined threshold for that form of development. Failure to undergo the EIA process and failure to include an EIS with a planning application for a form of development listed in the relevant regulations will lead to the planning application being invalidated by the Local Authority.
Specifically the EIA process includes a detailed analysis of the receiving environment in terms of Human Beings/Socio- Economic, Hydrology & Hydrogeology, Geology, Flora and Fauna, Air, Climate and Noise, Landscape and Visual Impact, Cultural Heritage and Material Assets (such as traffic, retail Impact etc.).
Verde Environmental Consultants’ in-house expertise in the main EIA disciplines and strategic partnerships enables us to efficiently project manage the EIA process, including:
- Initial screening
- Alternatives evaluations
- EIA / EIS preparation
- Presentation at public enquiry