Dredging: Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 19th April 2022.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department’s plans are for the disposal of dredge, including zinc and lead, in landfill.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dredging waste must be sent to permitted landfill, unless it is exempt from the need for a permit. The permits for these sites control the site design, waste types and quantity to prevent or minimise pollution. These permits do not include specific limits for lead and zinc where the dredged material is non-hazardous waste. The Environment Agency considers the risk of lead and zinc emissions from landfill sites during the permit application process and landfill sites are designed and regulated to prevent or minimise pollution. At dredging sites exempt from the need for a permit, any pollution risk is limited by the scale of the activity and it is assumed that any pollutants will return to the waterway they were dredged from (with no additional pollutant load on the watercourse).

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