Monday, 22 February 2016

Another year, another example of 'dry-working' at AI's Venn Ottery Quarry

We posted about the amount of water at Venn Ottery last year, about how Aggregate Industries had made assurances to the Environment Agency in 1998 that the site would be dry-worked. This is what the site looks like this year - even more water.

This site has the same geology as Straitgate, the same hillside position as Straitgate, the same operator as Straitgate, and plainly the same dodgy assurances as for Straitgate.

We have also posted about what’s left of Thorn Trees Plantation on Woodbury Common after AI finished quarrying there about six years ago, and the amount of standing water.

AI has made assurances about dry-working at Straitgate, how any water bodies would be ephemeral, how "standing water would only be observed during periods of extreme rainfall". 7.101

The issue is of course more critical at Straitgate, with an international flight path directly above it; with more than a 100 people dependent on the site for clean unpolluted drinking water; with a history of flooding events downstream.

AI only recently came clean about how deep it wants to quarry at Straitgate. Look at the photograph again. Does AI look like the sort of company to be trusted with assurances about dry-working?

On the issue of flooding and pollution, only last month the EA said, in response to Devon's Minerals Plan:
Climate change, especially increasing rainfall intensity and volume, is a growing risk to the mining industry locally. There have been increasing instances of sediment run-off pollution events from operational sites due to a failure to appropriately plan for and address volumes of rainfall received on unvegetated operational sites, combined with a poor understanding of critical surface runoff pathways and the degree of attenuation required.
Doesn’t give you much faith does it?