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Dredging. Am I missing something?


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As mentioned before my home stretch of the Chesterfield is currently being dredged,  and that's fantastic news.

Great so far, but when you look into the logistics of the operation it really is baffling, or at least to a layman. Originally the spoil was to be screened and spread on an adjacent field,  now it's being lifted over the towpath and a hedgerow into trucks and taken to landfill. Somewhere local? No, Peterborough apparently. A round trip of over 3 hours plus unloading/washing off time. 

This set up is resulting in a dredger operater, 2 tug drivers, and a 360 excavator plus his banksman sitting idle every day for hours while they await an empty truck.

I can understand when it's an industrial area and the mud is classed as hazardous or toxic,  but this is a SSSi, it's nothing more than silt, old rotten vegetation and of course several plastic bags. I heard yesterday that a farmer with fields bordering the canal has actually asked for his mud back but obviously that can't be done now,  as it wouldn't be lining anyone's pockets. 

I'm sure someone on here is much smarter than me and can explain it rationally. 

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Speculation :

 

C&RTs policy documents state that dedging material shall be spread on the adjacent land unless it is contaminated.

 

The orginal plan was to spread it on the local fields, but when tested it was found to be contaminated, and the type of contamination determines where it has to go for treatment.

 

I very much doubt it has been a SSSI for the last 200 years.

 

The law actually states that for uncontaminated dredgings :

 

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016

 

 

Deposit of waste from dredging of inland waters (D1)

1.—(1) The deposit of relevant waste arising from the dredging of inland waters and associated screening and dewatering.

(2) The table specifying relevant waste for the purposes of this paragraph is set out below.

Codes

Waste types

170506

Dredging spoil other than those mentioned in 170505

(3) For the purposes of this paragraph, the specific conditions are that—

(a)the total quantity of waste deposited or treated over any 12-month period does not exceed 50 cubic metres for each metre of land on which the waste is deposited, and

(b)the waste is deposited at the closest possible point to where the waste was produced on—

(i)the bank of the inland waters from which the waste was produced, or

(ii)such width of land adjoining the inland waters so as to enable the waste to be removed and deposited by mechanical means in one operation.

 

 

Edit to add :

 

170505 = dredging spoil containing dangerous substances

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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The reason we need all these regulations is that very few people possess common sense these days and, regretably, even fewer know how and when to apply such an attribute . . .

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It's a shame it's slowing the process up as the allocated time of 8 weeks would have been ample to do the job. The team are doing a great job too, it's gone from around 2'6" mid channel to nearly 5'.

I know soil samples were taken, but at that stage it was still planned to go on the fields so I don't know what changed. There's never been industry in the area,  Retford being the nearest town but still miles away. 

To make life even harder they started dredging at the far end of the pound and ploughing back through the mud with half filled pans, permission hadn't been given after months of planning to dredge the nearest part first.

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1 hour ago, NB Alnwick said:

The reason we need all these regulations is that very few people possess common sense these days and, regretably, even fewer know how and when to apply such an attribute . . .

Whilst a few regulations come about because of ignorance or unfortunate use of 'common-sense', the vast majority, in whatever context, are the result of someone wilfully and, often, maliciously, ignoring obvious signs that they were heading for trouble. Too soon to make a definitive accusation but is does look suspiciously as if much of the high rise cladding issues are the result of profit pressures.

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3 hours ago, Mike Todd said:

Whilst a few regulations come about because of ignorance or unfortunate use of 'common-sense', the vast majority, in whatever context, are the result of someone wilfully and, often, maliciously, ignoring obvious signs that they were heading for trouble. Too soon to make a definitive accusation but is does look suspiciously as if much of the high rise cladding issues are the result of profit pressures.

We live in a cottage with a thatched roof - I am guessing that our insurance costs (and therefore the risk) is far greater than any of those flats in tower blocks. My point is that we have made our choice and we take exceptional care to avoid the risk of fire. Until the facts are fully released we can not be certain but I doubt if the cladding caused the fire and subsequent sad loss of life. Such events are usually caused by human error - in other words someone’s carelessness. It is so easy to lay the blame at business interests but most businesses do their best to provide products that are safe.

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12 minutes ago, NB Alnwick said:

It is so easy to lay the blame at business interests but most businesses do their best to provide products that are safe

 

It seems pretty clear from information given to the Grenfel inquiry and widely reported that some of the material suppliers were more interested in making sales than making a safe product.

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Perhaps it's because it's a SSSI area that they aren't allowed to dump the silt next to the canal?  The silt may only be slightly contaminated, probably from a build up of diesel and oil from boats, but at a level which in other non SSSI areas would be acceptable being spread on adjacent fields. I'm guessing that the level of contamination was worse that they'd anticipated.

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5 minutes ago, Grassman said:

Perhaps it's because it's a SSSI area that they aren't allowed to dump the silt next to the canal?  The silt may only be slightly contaminated, probably from a build up of diesel and oil from boats, but at a level which in other non SSSI areas would be acceptable being spread on adjacent fields. I'm guessing that the level of contamination was worse that they'd anticipated.

That's a possibility, but if so you wouldn't think farmers could spray the canalside fields with pesticides that literally make your eyes water several times a year. I'll have to look out for the men in white shirts and shiny BMW's on site again and ask them. I've already spoken to 3 people claiming to be "Gaffers" but they don't seem to know.

You'd think that having gone down the road transport route they'd at least have enough trucks available to not be sitting around idle for hours every day. I heard yesterday that the spoil may now be going to Middlesbrough instead because that will be quicker!

 

But thanks for replying to the original topic subject, I was beginning to wonder. 

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58 minutes ago, Grassman said:

............... being spread on adjacent fields.

 

 

Legally it appears that it is not actually allowed to be spread on 'adjacent fields'.

It can only be placed whithin such width of land adjoining the inland waters so as to enable the waste to be removed and deposited by mechanical means in one operation.

 

If it is being taken out of the 'hopper' by excavator, then it can only be placed / dumped within the reach of the digger arm "in one operation", no loading it into a truck to take into the fields and tipping it, then the farmer coming and spreading it.

 

This is why there are often complaints about 'C&RTs stupidity' in piling up the dredgings alongside the canal/river bank such that it can be washed back into the canal/river at the next time of heavy rain or flood.

 

Edit For Interest.

 

It is interesting that the removal and manual disassembly of Lock gates is listed in The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 and is limited to the destruction of 100 tonnes. (I presume per annum, and wonder if that is the total allowable by all navigation authorities ?)

 

According to C&RT a pair of lock gates weighs approximately 6 tonnes (3 tonnes each) so it would appear the legislation limits them to 'removal and dissasembly' of only 33 gates per annum.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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makes you wonder about all those brave selfless stressed civil servants sitting in Westminster making up these regulations.

 

what a bunch of heroes ..........................

 

 

 

 

 

..............................  NOT !!!!

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

According to C&RT a pair of lock gates weighs approximately 6 tonnes (3 tonnes each) so it would appear the legislation limits them to 'removal and dissasembly' of only 33 gates per annum.

Edited 1 hour ago by Alan de Enfield

Whilst I could not possibly wish to doubt CRT, most of the lock gates I have seen over the last few years have their mass carved into them when they are made.  I do not think I have seen a GU gate which claims to be more than about 2000 Kg (though  we have not been to Denham lately) and narrow bottom gates in the midlands are usually about 900 to 1200 Kg, planked or framed.  Maybe the 3 ton average  figure includes the Severn and Weaver gates.

 

N

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18 minutes ago, BEngo said:

Whilst I could not possibly wish to doubt CRT, most of the lock gates I have seen over the last few years have their mass carved into them when they are made.  I do not think I have seen a GU gate which claims to be more than about 2000 Kg (though  we have not been to Denham lately) and narrow bottom gates in the midlands are usually about 900 to 1200 Kg, planked or framed.  Maybe the 3 ton average  figure includes the Severn and Weaver gates.

 

N

 

 

Source :

 

(I do wonder which 'small car' weighs 3 tonnes ?)

 

Lock gates replaced on Grand Union Canal

Two locks gates – each weighing approximately three tonnes – have been craned out and replaced from the Grand Union Canal near Tring this week.

 

Lock gates replaced on Grand Union Canal | Canal & River Trust

 

 

Each gate weighs the equivalent to a small family car and, at over 20 years old, had reached the end of their working lives. The replacement gates are hand-crafted from English oak and made to measure to ensure they fit snugly and are watertight.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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4 hours ago, fanshaft said:

I'm a member of the Trust's dredging sub-group so will ask!

Regards David L

From Leah (Dredging Contract manager):

"Initial assessment of the material identified non-hazardous silt which may have been suitable for agricultural spreading. On review of the options available to the Trust the decision was made by the Trust Environmental Specialist to relocate this material to a treatment facility in Peterborough where the material is to be recovered i.e. serving a purpose with environmental benefits. Taking the material to Peterborough was also a commercially beneficial decision.

 

Spreading in winter months, on frozen ground would have put the Trust in violation of land spreading permits, as such the Trust made the appropriate call for the time of year the project is being delivered, outside of bird nesting season with minimum ecological disturbance. This decision is also still in keeping with the Waste Hierarchy, as the waste is being recovered, not sent to landfill. The Trust and it’s contractors recognise the requirement to adhere to environmental regulations that are in place to protect the environment.

 

The Trust’s Contractor has worked in-line with Natural England assent. " 

Regards David L

 

 

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Thank you, that answers some questions but doesn't touch on the environmental aspect of the amount of HGV traffic. Also not mentioned was that I'd heard that the waste was being mixed with power station ash, so maybe it's a mutual back scratching arrangement. 

 

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I would have hoped that the Trust's Environmental Specialist would have taken into account the HGV miles.  If the material is being mixed with power station ash that's an excellent outcome - certainly the impression given is that it's being recycled - and that may have reduced costs as well.

David L

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33 minutes ago, fanshaft said:

I would have hoped that the Trust's Environmental Specialist would have taken into account the HGV miles.  

I would hope they have too because by my reckoning it's pretty frightening. 

I'm not sure about violating "spreading permits" due to frozen ground but when you have a canalside land owner asking for his muck back you have to question the logic.

 

56,000 road miles over the 8 week period,  at an average of 10mpg on a good day I'd guess. That really is what's known as a shit load of diesel. The trust's environmental specialist must know his/her stuff.

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1 hour ago, noddyboater said:

I would hope they have too because by my reckoning it's pretty frightening. 

I'm not sure about violating "spreading permits" due to frozen ground but when you have a canalside land owner asking for his muck back you have to question the logic.

 

56,000 road miles over the 8 week period,  at an average of 10mpg on a good day I'd guess. That really is what's known as a shit load of diesel. The trust's environmental specialist must know his/her stuff.

I have to say I agree with you, the Exol pride being out of operation due to long ongoing breach on the Aire and Calder, has cost Extol a fortune and loads of extra pollution. From my point of view the tankers blocking roads in all directions is causing chaos 

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9 hours ago, Cheshire cat said:

Do lock gates have their balance beams in place when they are lifted in to place? That would add to the weight carved into the structure.

Not normally, I understand. The gates are fitted first and then the balance beams added - sometimes they are re-used with only the gates changed, I believe.

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On 03/02/2021 at 21:24, noddyboater said:

I would hope they have too because by my reckoning it's pretty frightening. 

I'm not sure about violating "spreading permits" due to frozen ground but when you have a canalside land owner asking for his muck back you have to question the logic.

 

56,000 road miles over the 8 week period,  at an average of 10mpg on a good day I'd guess. That really is what's known as a shit load of diesel. The trust's environmental specialist must know his/her stuff.

The dredging group  understands that one of the preferred options for the Trust is spread clean dredgings on to adjacent fields whenever possible. Some farmers are glad to have it while others need payment.  If it is not possible (as  in these weather conditions)  then clearly the material has to be taken somewhere!  As the material is being recycled you could work out the trade off between the lorry miles of going to Peterborough rather than somewhere nearer (assuming there is somewhere nearer) and the obvious benefit of a recycling operation which may save other lorry miles.

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12 hours ago, fanshaft said:

The dredging group  understands that one of the preferred options for the Trust is spread clean dredgings on to adjacent fields whenever possible. Some farmers are glad to have it while others need payment.  If it is not possible (as  in these weather conditions)  then clearly the material has to be taken somewhere!  As the material is being recycled you could work out the trade off between the lorry miles of going to Peterborough rather than somewhere nearer (assuming there is somewhere nearer) and the obvious benefit of a recycling operation which may save other lorry miles.

Its a balance of ecology/Environment, cost efficiencies and regulation to balance the best environmental solution, value for money and compliance, i use the word balance because non of the 3 listed items please everyone.

The cost of spreading to land has gone up massively over the years with landowners and agents want an arm and a leg to accept dredgings that will add nutrients/fertilize their land and benift soils ans crops.

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