Please find below an update from Natural Resources Wales that I've recently received regarding the silt and mud dredged from the harbour, being temporarily stored on the seafront:
"Bridgend County Borough Council’s analysis of the material confirmed that the material will no longer be able to comply with the requirements of the CL:AIRE Code of Practice. The material is now being considered as a waste unless appropriate treatment takes place to change this status.
"Further testing of the waste material to inform the options appraisal for its longer term destination, including the nature of any treatment required and sites that would be able to accept the material, has now been undertaken by Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) and its contractors. BCBC have confirmed that the material is non-hazardous. We understand that it is BCBC’s intention to remove the material for off-site disposal or treatment, rather than seek to treat the material on-site.
"BCBC are in the process of tendering for removal of the material and hope to complete this process within the next week. They then intend to immediately commence the removal operation.
"We have consulted with Public Health Wales regarding any potential health risk arising from the material’s current storage and they have advised us of the following:
- In terms of the main contaminant of concern, Lead, this is only elevated in a couple of samples and even these do not exceed the recently published category 4 screening levels for public open space, which are considered to be well below levels that would pose significant risk of harm.
- It is not clear if asbestos is present in materials as no data for the soil has been provided, although again risks are unlikely to be high, whilst damping and covering advice will mitigate potential residual risks. Data in respect of asbestos would help to confirm this.
- Tributyl tin, was not detected but the limits of detection were not particularly sensitive. This chemical is often associated with marine sediments, being an anti-fouling agent in marine paints. It can pose a risk to health but again in the context of this scenario this risk is unlikely to be significant. Again accurate data would help to confirm this.
- Other contaminants are not particularly elevated and as such would not be indicative of risks to health in this current context.
"We have since clarified with BCBC that they have tested the dredged material for asbestos, and they have confirmed that it is not present.
"We continue to liaise with Bridgend County Borough Council to ensure that the material is dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner and will be seeking confirmation of the timescale for the removal operation once the contract is in place.
"We continue to keep our enforcement options under review, but at present recognise that appropriate progress is being made to address this issue."