Pringle Questions Department Claim that Killybegs Harbour is safe forDredging
The Department of Marine is progressing a project for a proposed pier extension at Smooth Point on the new pier at Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, however concerns have been raised about the dredging of a quantity of silt, gravel and rock and its disposal at sea.
In response to these concerns, Deputy Pringle recently raised the issue in a Parliamentary Question to Minister Coveney.
Pringle explains that “a study done in 2004 which deemed the location examined to exceed the chemical limits acceptable for disposal at sea. My question was what had changed since then to make it acceptable to dispose dredged material at sea all of a sudden?”
“The Minister indicated that a chemical re-evaluation of sediments was carried out in 2015 and early 2016 which indicated that 85% was suitable for disposal at sea subject to EPA approval. He claims this reduction in the intervening period has occurred naturally” says Pringle.
“My first question is what about the other 15%? We need to know if other options will be looked into. At other ports across Ireland dumping on land was an option and I want to ensure alternatives are considered by the Department.”
“I question how these results were achieved and will be following this up with the Minister in the meantime. We’re talking about heavy metals so I feel it’s important we look at what the study is saying to ensure that the pier extension project can be done in the most responsible manner considering the importance of maintaining the quality of our fishing waters,” concludes Pringle.