The DoI still doesn’t know what to do with the silt it has dredged out of Peel Marina.
The issue is one of several Minister Tim Crookall has found himself landed with since he took over the dept at the start of this administration.
In Tynwald this week, the Minister had to admit that work is still ongoing to find a solution as to where to dispose of the silt after it has been dried out.
Responding to questions from Garff MHK Daphne Caine, Mr Cookall said: ‘All of the dredged material is currently stored within the temporary dewatering lagoon awaiting a permanent disposing location. The sampling and testing of the dredged material has been complete and shows that the material is classified as a mixture of inert waste and stable non-reactive waste.
‘The dept is continuing to seek a permanent disposal method for the silt. Due to the material being classified as a mixture of inert waste and stable non-reactive waste, it would not be suitable for disposal at Wright’s Pit North. As the dept confirmed in October 2020, the disposal of this material at the Rockmount Silt Store used in 2015, has also been ruled out. I am very conscientious that the temporary planning approval for the storage of the silt in the lagoon express in March 2024, therefore options such as landfill and reprocessing are still under investigation.’
Mrs Caine said the Minister’s response had raised a few issues for her and asked whether any of the silt had been deposited at Wright’s Pit North (Point of Ayre) and what ongoing future dredging did his department expect to be required to carry out.
Mr Crookall responded by saying that he was not aware of any waste being taken to Wright’s Pit North, but that he would update the court if this proved to be incorrect and that the DoI had to dispose of twice as much silt as the site could take. He added that there were 3,000 to 4,000 tonnes of silt a year still flowing in the Marina.
He said: ‘This is obviously going to cause us a huge problem which my dept and DEFA are working on continuously at the moment to try and find an answer to that. As soon as we have, you can rest assured you’ll know about it.’