Thursday, 17 November 2016

More groundwater problems for AI

Aggregate Industries' Hillhead ROMP application has run into trouble already. The Environment Agency has told the company:
We object to the application because the applicant has not supplied adequate information to demonstrate that the risks posed to groundwater can be satisfactorily managed… groundwater levels within the site, and on which the mitigation of risk to groundwater is based (workings maintained 2m above water table) appear to be based on extrapolation of limited offsite data rather than being based on site specific data…. The BCL report mentions ‘reviews of nearby monitoring data’ but does not provide the data that has been reviewed nor does it elaborate on the detail of the assessment undertaken.
Ultimately we consider that it will be necessary to develop a formalised water monitoring and reporting plan that incorporates off site third party interests and groundwater levels on site. This is likely to require installation of groundwater monitoring points but at the present time we are unable to confirm that the piezometers proposed in the Environmental Statement will be sufficient in number or suitable in location.
The BCL report? In the ROMP application's Non Technical Summary, David Jarvis Associates say:
BCL Consultant Hydrogeologists Limited (BCL) has undertaken an assessment of the potential hydrological and hydrogeological impacts associated with continued sand and gravel extraction at Hillhead Quarry. The assessment concludes that the continued quarrying activities do not pose a risk to groundwater, surface water or drinking water supplies, nor is there any increased risk of flooding.
But how could they know? As BCL says:
There are no monitoring piezometers in the Application Area. 
The best approximation for groundwater level at the centre of the Application Area is derived from [borehole] BGS ST01SE19, which was drilled in the quarry in the 1960s. 
Where is that borehole? East of Broadpath Landfill, about 1 km away; nowhere near Houndaller at all.