Inventory of closed mine waste facilities in Northern Ireland. Phase 1, data collection and categorisation

Palumbo-Roe, B.; Linley, K.; Cameron, D.; Mankelow, J.. 2013 Inventory of closed mine waste facilities in Northern Ireland. Phase 1, data collection and categorisation. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 47pp. (CR/13/119N) (Unpublished)

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This mid-project report is a required deliverable for a BGS project commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment (DoENI) to assist in their implementation of the EU Mine Waste Directive (MWD) with regards to Article 20 − Inventory of closed waste facilities. The objective of this project is to address the requirement of the EU Directive for an inventory of closed waste facilities, including abandoned facilities, which cause or could potentially cause serious negative environmental impacts or are a serious threat to human health. The report describes the approach taken and project progress to date. For the purposes of this project the term “closed mine waste facilities” should be considered to include “abandoned mine waste facilities”. The EU Directive requires the application of risk assessment methods in the inventory of closed waste facilities that are either known or have the potential of impacting the environment or human health, i.e. there must be a link between the source of a hazard in the waste facility and an identified receptor. Our approach to developing the inventory is based on: Annex III of the MWD, which refers to the “Criteria for determining the classification of waste facilities”, and the EC 2011 “Guidance document for a risk-based pre-selection protocol for the inventory of closed waste facilities”. The latter provides guidance to Member States on the methodology for producing a precautionary list of waste facilities that would be candidate sites for the inclusion in the inventory. We also consider the methodology devised by the Environment Agency in England and Wales (EA, 2012) and similar work undertaken by the Geological Survey of Ireland when creating an inventory of historic mine sites for the Republic of Ireland. A phased approach is being followed, consisting of an initial qualitative study (Phase 1), aimed at data collection and categorisation. This will be followed by a more quantitative data assessment phase (Phase 2), which appraises potential environmental impacts of the closed mine waste facilities. Both phases are desk-based studies and, do not require fieldwork-based activities. The Phase 2 output will identify and rank potential inventory sites and will seek to establish spatial linkages between the mine sites and water and/or sediment geochemical data for stream water and sediment data values that exceed specified chemical quality assessment criteria. Phase 2 will use data held by the GSNI and BGS. The most impacted sites should then be investigated through field visits and further sampling and testing. This assessment does not address physical hazards, which also require consideration under the Directive. The project outputs should be complemented by information sourced from relevant authorities on known concerns about risks to human or animal health, stability, and fire or air pollution.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: The Northern Ireland Department of Environment
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This report made open by author February 2014. This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Date made live: 16 Apr 2014 15:10 +0 (UTC)

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