Via Rame Peninsula Beach Care we have heard that the Navy are applying for a new two-year licence to dump toxic dredged waste from the Dockyard in Whitsand Bay…. right alongside the newly-announced Marine Conservation Zone, which has been designated to protect the very species being smothered in silt by the dumping!
Time is of the essence and, if you want to oppose the licence application, we have a couple of weeks to write in.
Below are the details by campaigner Dave Peake
DREDGE AND DISPOSAL,
The current routine maintenance licence issued to HMNB Devonport expires in January 2014.
Boskalis Westminster Ltd on behalf of Naval Base has recently applied to the Marine Management Organisation to renew this Licence for a further two years.
Under the terms of the Licence up to many hundreds of thousands of tons of dredged material will be dredged from areas of the Dockyard Port of Plymouth. This material is contaminated with elevated levels of PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons).
The intended place of disposal is in Whitsand Bay, SE Cornwall. This area of seabed is referred to as a Licensed Disposal Site. However, following numerous requests, the Regulator (MMO) cannot produce any written licence, documents or leases.
Whitsand Bay has historically been used for about 100 years and is the easiest and cheapest option for the authorities to use for disposals.
Following many years of surveys, sampling and observations it cannot be scientifically said that the continuing, year in and year out disposals are not having a negative impact, particularly inshore of the Site along the beaches and shallow reefs.
At a public meeting nearly three years ago, Sheryll Murray, the MP for SE Cornwall, set up a Group/Committee to regularly meet with the Regulator MMO and other stakeholders to discuss, debate and consult on the issues regarding the disposals. Initially there was a consensus to ‘actively seek alternatives to dumping in Whitsand Bay’. This group is no longer in existence. Local residents felt it necessary to resign following a ‘stalemate’ with the authorities. The opinion was that these authorities were continually ‘passing the buck’, with no momentum to find alternatives.
The recent announcement of Whitsand and Looe Bay as a Marine Conservation Zone is a step in the right direction to protect this environment. The boundaries of the disposal areas and the MCZ are extremely close, and now is the time for the Regulator MMO and stakeholders to take this into account, find an alternative, and immediately stop dumping in the beautiful Whitsand Bay.
In the Licence Application process, the Applicant requests to dispose into the bay.
Surely it is time now for the MOD and The Queen’s Harbour Master to realise they should be protecting our seas, coast, beaches and reefs – not continually polluting, contaminating and degrading them.
Anybody who loves Whitsand, who lives here, who enjoys the beaches or disagrees with this continuous dumping then please take the time to send a quick email – we have until December 28th 2013, pointing out that there is no excuse now to continue with this outdated method of waste disposal given the new protection for Whitsand Bay.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
write to the Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle on Tyne, NE4 7RH.