Friday, 29 August 2014


An article from Mineral Planning that local people may find of interest; it's written by Sue Penaluna, principal planning officer at DCC. The Council has issued two separate temporary mineral permissions for working dimension stone at Exeter cathedral.

This is not quarrying on the scale or impact of Straitgate: "Both permissions are personal to the cathedral for ten years and allow up to five cubic metres a year to be extracted using hand tools."

Andy Price, strategic health and safety manager for Sibelco Europe, gave an update on respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and the mounting problems of inhaling silica, the basic component of soil, sand and other minerals. He told the conference that "more than ever" the aggregates sector was being drawn into the debate on RCS because of diseases such as silicosis.
Evidence suggested people with silicosis could develop lung cancer: 16 deaths were caused by silicosis in 2011, while 40-50 cases were registered every year. But projections from the HSE suggested there could be 800 deaths a year due to past exposure. RCS was number two in the HSE priority list for occupational health behind only asbestos, he said.
Other areas picked up were quarry fencing, traffic management, risk assessments and dust from control of substances hazardous to health...
To hear that the issue of quarry fencing was being discussed at an industry conference, before the school holidays and before a number of tragic drownings, beggars belief.

For those with an interest in the subject, this industry article written by lawyers makes sobering reading:

Here’s just one part:
Fracking involves the injection of large volumes of water. This water is likely to pick up naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) from underground strata. This means that, upon returning to the surface, fracking fluid may contain sufficient NORM to be classed as radioactive waste and require an environmental permit for its storage and disposal.
Operators are unlikely to be granted a permit unless they show a clear strategy for disposing of radioactive flowback. This is significant because of the limited number of installations available nationally to treat waste containing NORM. The December 2013 DECC and AMEC Strategic Environmental Assessment report concluded that volumes of flowback waste water could range from 3,000 to 18,750 cubic metres per well.
Under a high-activity scenario, that could mean a potential wastewater treatment and transit requirement of up to 108 million cubic metres, which would place a substantial burden on existing infrastructure.
The eight-megawatt solar farm at Ketton [cement works in Rutland] is part of Hanson’s action plan to increase the use of renewable energy to achieve its 2020 goal of cutting carbon emissions by 10% per tonne of product.
When cement contributes 1 tonne of CO2 for every tonne produced, producers like Hanson and Holcim will need to do much much more in the years and decades ahead - the UK government for one has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.